Robotics in the Oil and Gas Industry

By Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Robots designed for the demanding world of the oil and gas sector can help with round-the-clock surveillance and maintenance. But they can also help keep their human co-workers out of harm’s way.

The oil and gas sector is seizing the opportunities presented by automation and robotics to streamline and improve routine processes. But more significantly, this technology has the potential to provide safer alternatives to dealing with a range of hazardous situations.

Automation and robotics can help mitigate against fluctuations in energy price and production costs. They can also operate safely and effectively in situations that would be too hazardous for people. One example of this is the development of an explosion-proof robot from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). It can perform a wide range of tasks on platforms and other operations facilities.

At the extreme end of the safety spectrum, there are numerous situations that are either completely off-limits to humans or which present tremendous difficulties. Risk of injury to health, for example, would preclude people from being deployed in the most severe locations or circumstances.

But even where far more routine day-to-day operations are concerned, there are many tasks which could be completed more efficiently and effectively if they were automated.

Widespread Deployment and Specialist Use

The use of robotics is increasingly common in many industry sectors. Amazon, for example, has more than 100,000 robots operating in its warehouses worldwide. There are agricultural robots picking everything from grapes to cabbages, too. But robots for the oil and gas industry must be designed for specific use cases. This is why it is so important to have robots with specialist qualities such as not igniting in an inflammable gas atmosphere and withstanding the effects of sea water. Equally, they must be capable of a wide variety of demanding tasks, ranging from being able to climb stairs to issuing an alert and initiating emergency protocols.

MHI can trace its robotics experience back over four decades to the 1980s when it began developing inspection robots for operation in Japan’s nuclear power plant network. Since then it has expanded its robot development to include applications for underwater and radioactive situations, petrochemical fires, tunnel accidents, and disaster recovery.

MHI Oil & Gas Robotics Solutions

Oil and gas operators are investing in this new generation of robotics technology to improve workforce safety and boost efficiencies. The explosion-proof operation robot MHI has been developing can work in a wide range of potentially hazardous environments and strengthen even further the existing levels of safety on oil and gas platforms. Therefore, oil and gas clients become free to concentrate their efforts where they are more effective. Its development is the result of collaboration, customer insights, and engineering excellence.

MHI is dedicated to developing explosion-proof plant operation robots that can help customers remove human resources from potentially harmful or even life-threatening situations.