Robotics

Spot the robot goes to work on a Norwegian oil rig

Spot the robot goes to work on...
Boston Dynamics' Spot robot is set to be trialed on an oil rig in the Norwegian Sea this year
Boston Dynamics' Spot robot is set to be trialed on an oil rig in the Norwegian Sea this year
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Boston Dynamics' Spot robot is set to be trialed on an oil rig in the Norwegian Sea this year
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Boston Dynamics' Spot robot is set to be trialed on an oil rig in the Norwegian Sea this year

Boston Dynamics put its nimble four-legged robot called Spot up for sale in September last year, and its unique abilities are catching the attention of oil companies looking toward a future of automation. Norwegian outfit Aker BP has revealed plans to put the quadruped bot through its paces to explore how such machines can make its offshore oil rig operations safer and more efficient.

Spot, along with a number of other robots and drones, will be put to the test on an off-shore rig in the Norwegian Sea later this year. Aker BP will use the trials to assess how these types of machines and their autonomous capabilities can improve its inspection processes.

So far as Spot is concerned, Aker BP imagines the robot using its stereo camera system, obstacle avoidance systems and onboard sensors to detect and respond to gas leaks and provide onshore operators with a telepresence out at sea. The company has tested these abilities in simulated oil and gas environments and says the robot proved capable of reaching locations that humans cannot, reducing the risks to its workers and the overall safety of its facilities.

“Our vision is to digitalize all our operations from cradle to grave in order to increase productivity, enhance quality and improve the safety of our employees,” says Karl Johnny Hersvik, CEO of Aker BP. Exploring the potential of robotics offshore underpin our digital journey.”

You can see Spot exploring these simulated environments in the video below.

Meet Spot, the quadruped robot

Source: Aker BP

2 comments
buzzclick
I was wondering if Spot was able to sense (smell) various chemical vapors. This could be an ideal application of this technology. I hope and presume that it can go "home" to recharge like those robovacs. A dog can be trained to do exactly the same tasks, but it would require a human companion, which would affect the cost of providing an efficient monitoring system.
Worzel
It gives me the shivers! Looks too much like an enormous four legged beetle.