They go by the names of Argonauts, Foxiris, Vikings, Air-K and Lio and come from Austria, Spain, France, Japan and Switzerland. They have less than three years to dream up the first autonomous robot designed specifically for oil and gas production sites.
The “they” in question are the teams we and our partner the French National Research Agency (ANR) have selected to compete in the Argos challenge. The oil and gas industry operates in potentially high-risk situations, which is why we issued an international call for projects in December 2013. The goal is to design a robot that can move around our production sites, perform inspections, detect problems and respond to emergencies, improving the safety of our personnel. At the end of a competition involving several stages, the winner will be announced in December 2016.
Here are some pictures to help you visualize the projects of the five teams selected.