Equinor launches autonomous ATEX-certified robots on their oil and gas facilities by partnering with Taurob. 

FREMONT, CA: Equinor announces launch of autonomous ATEX-certified robots on their oil and gas facilities. Taurob, an Austrian inspection robotics expert, is a partner in the project. Its robot can be used to monitor and maintain offshore facilities on a regular basis.

Thorough certification

Taurob began developing robotics for human safety 11 years ago, especially for emergency response circumstances. The key driver for the energy domain to enter robotics is safety. The cutting-edge 'Taurob Inspector' is the culmination of a two-year partnership between Taurob, Total, and OGTC in the United Kingdom. Total was the first global energy company to use robotic inspection at its Shetland Islands plant in the North Sea.

Matthias Biegl, Managing Director and co-founder of Taurob, emphasizes his company's focus on safety: "Our goal is to build trust with operators and raise acceptance on site. Going through thorough certification procedures with the customers and their HSEQ and Electrical departments is as important as the development process itself."

Equinor joined Total, OGTC, and Taurob in the ARGOS Joint Industry Project in 2019 to build a brand-new robot that can conduct autonomous manipulation operations. "We expect the result to be a robust and reliable robot, with maintenance intervals of up to only once per year; ideal for Normally Unmanned Facilities (NUF) where human intervention is rare. As a so called 'Work Class' robot, it will physically interact with the installation," says Biegl. First tests will be conducted this year.