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Autonomous robots to be installed on Norway's offshore platforms

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Oilfield Technology,

Equinor is to introduce autonomous ATEX-certified robots on its oil and gas installations offshore Norway. Its partner in the project is Austria-based inspection robotics specialist Taurob, whose robots will be used to conduct routine inspection and maintenance tasks on offshore installations.

Autonomous robots to be installed on Norway's offshore platforms

Taurob started developing robotics applied for human safety, particularly in emergency response situations, 11 years ago. The ‘Taurob Inspector’ is the result of an intensive two-year collaboration between Taurob, Total and OGTC. Total was the first energy major to implement robotic inspection on their plant in the North Sea's 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. Our goal is to build trust with operators and raise acceptance on-site."

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. “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,” said Biegl. First tests will be performed this year.

Image of Taurob Inspector robot courtesy of Total/Ben Mullay

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