Robotic arm speeds up commercial testing of electric vehicle components
15 May 2024
- Rosie de Laune



As part of a long-running collaboration with the ChipIr team, electronics company Infineon has adapted a robot arm specifically to help with their neutron irradiation experiments.


Philipp Bender and ​​​​Matthias Benda with the robot arm in the ChipIr bunkhouse. ​


ChipIr recreates the effects of atmospheric neutrons caused by cosmic rays. These neutrons can trigger malfunctions in electronic systems, so it is commonly used by industry to test the resilience of their products.

Infineon Technologies is a global semiconductor leader in power systems and the Internet of Things (IoT). They have an extensive portfolio of power devices, including diodes and MOSFETs. These devices are widely used in automotive electronics and drive the electrification of mobility. In an electric vehicle, there are a lot more electronics, and therefore a greater need for a wider variety of power devices.

Currently, Infineon visit ISIS several times a year, testing products on ChipIr to ensure their products are resilient to atmospheric neutron damage. This time, they brought with them a robot arm (nicknamed Ronny) to change their samples instead of doing it manually, reducing their sample change time from six minutes down to just over ten seconds.

The first phase of testing for the robot arm was on one particular setup but it is planned to use the robot arm in the future for all tests, making their use of the ChipIr beamline as efficient as possible. But the beamline scientists don't need to worry about being out of a job! The robot is a co-bot, designed to be complementary to humans, and responsive to their work. Understanding how the robot performs when exposed to the radiation in the ChipIr blockhouse is also of interest to the team, as well as the robot manufacturer.

The fact that Infineon have adapted a robot purely for this purpose really evidences the value that the company gets out of their neutron experiments, and their commitment to the longstanding collaboration with the ChipIr beamline.

Christopher Frost, the head of irradiation at ISIS said; “I really applaud this example of Infineon's innovative approach to radiation testing. It reflects the ethos at ChipIr, which is to constantly work with our users to make irradiation testing as effective and efficient as possible." ​​​​

Contact: Frost, Christopher (STFC,RAL,ISIS)