The Boston Dynamics‘ Spot robot is expected to patrol the Aker BP’s oil and gas production vessels this year at the Skarv field in the Norwegian Sea.
This announcement is the part of a long-term partnership between Aker BP, which seeks to become a leader in the digitalization of the oil industry, and the Norwegian company Cognite, a global industrial AI software-as-a-service (SaaS) company. Together, they launched plans to conduct a series of tests with robots and drones at Aker BP-operated Skarv in the Norwegian Sea during 2020. This is a pilot project, and the company hopes to test the ability to inspect, find hydrocarbon leakage, collect data, and generate reports.
According to representatives of Aker BP, the decision should allow making operations in difficult hydrocarbon production conditions safer, more efficient, and more sustainable.
Spot is the first robot to receive its own employee number at the Norwegian oil company Aker BP. For Spots, Aker BP and Cognite have already tested the robot’s mobile capabilities on the platform through simulations of the oil and gas environment, to ensure that it has access to locations at the facility where more traditional automation solutions are not available.
“Digitalization will be one of the differentiators between the oil companies of the world, in order to be able to deliver low cost and low emissions. Our vision is to digitalize all our operations from the cradle to the grave in order to increase productivity, enhance quality and improve the safety of our employees“, said Karl Johnny Hersvik, CEO of Aker BP, in the press release.
Patrolling the oil rigs will not be the Spot’s first deployment in real workplaces. Since Boston Dynamics has started selling the robot, many companies are showing interest in putting it to work. In 2019, the Massachusetts State Police tested the ability of the robot dog to work with police officers. Then HoloBuilder put it for on-site inspection at a large construction site.