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Equinor to deploy inspection robots on offshore platforms

Posted on 26 Apr 2021 and read 466 times
Equinor to deploy inspection robots on offshore platformsNorway-based Equinor, a state-owned multi-national energy company, is partnering with Austria-based Taurob, an inspection robotics specialist, to deploy autonomous ATEX-certified robots on its oil and gas installations. The robots will be used to conduct routine inspection and maintenance tasks on offshore platforms.

Taurob started developing robotics applied for human safety, particularly in emergency response situations, 11 years ago. Safety is also the main driver for the energy domain to step into robotics.

The ‘state of the art’ Taurob Inspector is the result of an intensive two-year collaboration between Taurob, French energy giant Total and UK's OGTC. Total was the first energy major to implement robotic inspection on its plant in the Shetland Islands.

Matthias Biegl, managing director and co-founder of Taurob, said: “Our goal is to build trust with operators and raise acceptance on site. Going through thorough certification procedures with the customers and their HSEQ and Electrical departments is as important as the development process itself.”

Equinor decided in 2019 to join Total, OGTC and Taurob in the ARGOS Joint Industry Project to develop a completely new robot, capable of performing autonomous manipulation operations.

Mr Biegl concluded: “We expect the result to be a robust and reliable robot, with maintenance intervals of up to only once per year; ideal for Normally Unmanned Facilities (NUF) where human intervention is rare. As a so called ‘Work Class’ robot, it will physically interact with the installation”.

First tests are scheduled to take place later this year.