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What’s next for robotics in oil and gas?

10 November 2017
Written by Luca Corradi

We had two objectives in mind for Robotics Week.

We wanted to increase awareness of robotics in the oil and gas industry, explore current and future applications from other industries, and learn from them. So, on Monday and Thursday we had three top robotics academics from different universities and three experts from industries where robotics is far more advanced than in oil and gas delivering a series of Tech Talks. The talks were complemented by a showcase of 18 robots of different shapes, forms and applications, provided by robotics companies and research institutions. 

The second objective, more ambitious, was to accelerate the development and deployment of robotics solutions for the offshore oil and gas industry.

To try and achieve this, we assembled a core team of experts from oil and gas and robotics, mixing commercial companies and academics. They worked for two days starting from an apparently simple question: What do we want robots to do offshore? More specifically: what dull, dirty or dangerous tasks and activities would we be happy for robots to undertake?

Working in three teams, focusing on air, land, and sea robotics, the core team generated and selected a number of use cases, or applications, for robotics offshore.

The next step was assessing the gap with the current technology. In other words: “what’s preventing us to use robotics now for those use cases?”.

The result? 15 potential projects that could accelerate the use of robotics offshore. Click here to view the executive summary from the workshops.

Our Asset Integrity Solution Centre is reviewing the output of the technology gap analysis to identify potential themes for a future ‘Call for Ideas’ and future projects for co-funding and support with industry partners.

The analysis will also inform research programmes for the recently announced and Edinburgh Centre for Robotics-led, ORCA Hub, which aims to advance robotics and artificial intelligence technologies for the inspection, repair, maintenance and certification of offshore energy platforms and assets. If you are already working on some of these challenges or have solutions you think apply to them, we’d love to hear from you.

Click here to view the event media, and the information on the Tech Talks and showcase exhibitors.

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