ANYmal C, an autonomous four-legged robot designed for industrial inspection

Industrial inspection, regardless of the reason for inspection, can be a very dirty and dangerous job. Evaluating or inspecting the health and risks of the machines is very important, but if performed incorrectly, lead to safety hazards or even breakdowns. Also, it is often very expensive. Autonomous mobile robotic solutions can help improve safety and efficiency during these inspections.

ANYbotics has been working on such a solution for years. After testing out their ANYmal model for a couple of years in various dangerous places where humans won’t – or can’t – go, ETH Zurich spin-off ANYbotics has finally announced its new and improved ANYmal C, earlier this week.

Autonomous legged robot ANYmal C./ Image Credit: ANYbotics
Autonomous legged robot ANYmal C./ Image Credit: ANYbotics

Like many other legged robots from a few other companies, ANYmal C moves around on its four powerful legs instead of rolling along on wheels. It can move through industrial environments – over uneven terrains, steps, and stairs – without the need for any adaptations to a facility.

Additionally, it can also be operated by remote control, allowing users to manually inspect hazardous areas.

The robot can move over uneven terrain, and even climb up and down stairs./ Image Credit: ANYbotics
The robot can move over uneven terrain, and even climb up and downstairs./ Image Credit: ANYbotics

This dog-like robot can move at 1 meter per second, manage 20-degree slopes and 45-degree stairs, cross 25-centimeter gaps, and squeeze through relatively narrow passages. With the user-friendly, ruggedest design, ANYmal C comes equipped with a wide range of sensors such as visual and thermal cameras, LIDAR for 3D mapping, microphones, and gas detection sensors. These sensors enable it to navigate its environment autonomously and avoid obstacles.

Besides, the autonomous quadruped is capable of identifying the quickest route to reach its goal. Real-time mapping and motion planning allow the robot to react to obstacles like workers and to safely blend into a work environment.

It can navigate the complex infrastructure of industrial plants./ Image Credit: ANYbotics
It can navigate the complex infrastructure of industrial plants./ Image Credit: ANYbotics

The 50-kilogram robot carries up to 10 kg in payload on its fully water-and-dustproof IP67 body. ANYmal C can run for up to two hours on a single battery charge, and then autonomously charge itself back on a weird cone-shaped docking station. It can even handle being submerged under a meter of water for up to an hour.

ANYbotics explains that the system evaluates instruments, checks for the status of objects, detect hotspots, and senses gases – even in situations that are threatening to human inspectors.

Only time will tell if such robots will be beneficial and can perform well for the industries, but it certainly looks promising. For more details and order inquiry, visit the company website.


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