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Research activities on offshore robotics

Published October 15, 2007

The development of a complete robotic and instrumentation system for a remotely operated oil & gas platform poses several technological challenges. These challenges may be partitioned into six categories as seen below. The purpose of the offshore robotics lab facility is to target all these challenges except the challenge of preparing the system for offshore conditions.

The research activities in the lab include:

  • Cooperating robots
    Using multiple robotic manipulators simultaneously in order to solve inspection and intervention tasks.
  • Contact operations
    Methods and algorithms that enable an operator to perform contact operations on process equipment with a robotic manipulator.
  • Collision avoidance
    SINTEF has developed new collision avoidance system named CRASH. The system calculates the distance between the robot and its environment by operating on 3D models. A major research activity involves coping with uncertainties in the 3D models.
  • Robot sensor data analysis
    Analysis of the sensor data collected by the robot (camera images, sound, vibrations, temperature, gas, etc) in order to automatically identify the normal trends in the process and to detect deviations during automatic inspection rounds.

The pictures below show some of the current capabilities of the robotic system.

Automatic tool change

Inspection operations

Opening and closing manual valves

Picking up and moving objects

 Contact person at SINTEF Applied Cybernetics: Aksel Andreas Transeth