Malaysia’s fully integrated oil and gas company Petronas and robotics company ANYbotics are testing ANYmal, a four-legged dog-like robot for autonomous robotic inspection at oil and gas platforms. They recently conducted a successful multi-week installation with the robot ANYmal C on one of Petronas’ Dulang B platform offshore Malaysia.
The companies have jointly developed an Ex-certified version of ANYmal, which means it is certified to work in environments with a high risk for explosions.
The complex operations of oil and gas facilities require continuous monitoring and frequent inspections to enable high availability and safety. The autonomous robot ANYmal provides automated routine inspections, generating the insights to be able to adjust operations swiftly.
“Our motivation is to deploy robotic solutions to reduce HSE risks and OPEX by minimizing offshore workforce deployment and logistics,” said Fauzy Omar Basheer Othman, Head of Petronas’ Facilities of Future.
The robot’s inspection tasks include general visual inspection, digital readouts of analog and digital gauges, thermography, and acoustic analysis of rotating equipment. After the successful onshore functional tests, Petronas’ robotics team performed a multi-week deployment on Petronas’ offshore platform Dulang B.
Like Boston Dynamics‘ Spot robot, ANYmal C has the ability to climb stairs and perform monitoring based on given directions. It can operate for two hours before it needs to be charged. There is a special dock that allows it to be charged automatically.
“The offshore tests validated ANYmal’s performance under adverse conditions including slippery terrain, strong winds, and operations in day and night,” summarised Iskandar A. Mahmood, Manager for Robotics at Petronas. “Offshore platforms have large open spaces towards the ocean that are challenging for autonomous navigation. However, the LIDAR-based localization of ANYmal has proven robust even in these cases, and we were able to successfully test all functionalities, including autonomous charging on a docking station.”
The companies are targeting commercial use of the ANYmal C canine robot in potentially explosive environments by 2022. Although the Ex-certified robot is co-developed with Petronas, ANYbotics will offer it to the global market, and the latter has started onboarding early customers.