Pilot scheme sees robots set to work offshore

It is hoped that the project could lead to more use of robotics, boosting the quality of jobs. Picture: Contributed.
It is hoped that the project could lead to more use of robotics, boosting the quality of jobs. Picture: Contributed.
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Robots could soon be working autonomously alongside humans on a North Sea platform as part of what has been deemed a world-first initiative that could spark a revolution in robotics offshore.

The 18-month project is being driven by the Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC), Total E&P and Taurob, in partnership with Technische Universitaet Darmstadt.

It will see a mobile robot developed and trialled for autonomous operational inspection of facilities on Total’s onshore Shetland Gas Plant and offshore Alwyn platform. The trial marks the first use of an autonomous ground robot on an operational oil and gas installation, with a view to boosting productivity and cutting costs.

Rebecca Allison, manager of the OGTC’s Asset Integrity Solution Centre, said robotics could “transform” the offshore oil and gas industry, improving job quality. “Projects like this will help inspire and attract the next generation oil and gas workforce.”