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Total's competition for the 1st autonomous robot for gas & oil production sites

Monday, January 6, 2014

Exploration & Production - Kick-off of the ARGOS (Autonomous Robot for Gas & Oil Sites) Challenge.

Exploration & production activities often take place in extreme conditions and under considerable constraints: arctic weather, arid climate, remote sites, offshore and onshore alike. While autonomous underwater robots are already at work today, there are no 'surface' equivalents to perform similar jobs onshore or on platforms.

The ARGOS (Autonomous Robot for Gas & Oil Sites) Challenge sets out to bridge that gap. Supported by Total, this international call for proposals operated by France's National Research Agency (ANR - Agence Nationale de la Recherche), aims to design and build a surface robot to work on gas & oil production sites. There is an overall budget of €3.5 million. Such a surface robot could also be used more widely, on industrial complexes around the world, and therefore has tremendous business potential.

The competition is open to industries and researchers worldwide. Three to five selected teams will aim to create a robot capable of meeting the specific needs of hydrocarbon production sites: conduct inspection autonomously, transmit data in real time (measurements, images, etc), detect anomalies, alert operators… and intervene in emergency situations (gas or oil leak, extreme weather conditions, etc).

'Safeguarding people and assets is one of the core priorities of Research and Development in Total's Exploration & Production branch. Surface robotics holds the potential to transform the way our installations are operated by reducing exposure for our staff.' explains Alain Goulois, Vice President R&D at Total Exploration & Production.

Associated Companies
» Total
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