A Joint Industry Project was formed with Total, Equinor, Saft and the OGTC. The intent was to develop a robot that had manipulation capabilities. To start with, use cases such as operating valves and launching pig have been identified as potential areas where the robot could add efficiencies. This robot would complement the Taurob Inspectors’ current capabilities of surveying and inspection which would place Taurob in a prime position to provide robotic solutions for inspection AND maintenance for remote installations.
Some of the features planned for this generation of robots:
- The robot can move autonomously around an industrial site without any human supervision (Level 4 Autonomy).
- The robot is certified to fulfil safety requirements, as required by the Machinery Directive.
- The robot has universal interfaces for mission-dependent attachments, such as gas sensors.
- The robot has a new multi-purpose sensor head that enables it to capture high-definition video and audio.
- The robot has light duty and heavy duty arms that are interchangeable.
With the requirement to grant the robot autonomy and time to operate in the most severe conditions, the French Battery manufacturer Saft Batteries S.A. adds to the powerful consortium as a subcontractor. Saft is developing the first ATEX/IECEx lithium-ion battery in the energy range 500 to 1000 Wh. Special SAFT cells will be used that can operate in severe environmental conditions, including a wide temperature range from -30°C to +60°C.
Moreover, a largely improved charging rate and cycling lifetime compared to traditional batteries will allow for a continuous and smooth operation of the robot; the battery will be maintenance free for a full year.