Exelon Generation has a long history of using robots in its nuclear plants – mostly making repairs or taking measurements. Usually, they're used in a hard-to-reach area or a location in the plant where deploying a robot is preferable to a human employee.
Recently, Byron Generating Station debuted a robot whose prime focus is outside the plant area. "Pepper," a robot used to disseminate important safety and plant messaging to employees, spent three days in Byron's Pre-Access Facility welcoming employees. The company's own version of C-3PO from Star Wars fame was a big hit.
Employees and visitors entering Byron Station the week of April 2 received an animated greeting from Pepper, who was on loan from the Exelon Generation's "Digital Plant Innovation Team."
As a person walked into Pepper's view, they were greeted with: "Hello, and welcome to Byron Station." Pepper then asked if they wanted to hear the safety message of the day. A "yes" response from the employee initiated Pepper to speak the day's safety message while a scroll of related photos cycled through on her monitor. A "no" response initiated Pepper to wish the employee a safe and error-free day.
Exelon Generation's Digital Plant Innovation Team is developing Pepper and thus far she has been used to promote Innovation projects, safety messaging, and employee excitement with new technology in the fleet.
Pepper's next appearance at Byron Station could be during its annual Community Open House, which is tentatively scheduled for Monday, Oct. 22.