Technology Centre aims to start a robotics revolution in oil and gas

offshoreThe Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) is aiming to start a robotics revolution for the oil and gas industry as it hosts a series of events to explore and accelerate its use offshore.

Robotics Week, which runs from 30 October to 2 November in the centre’s newly-opened Innovation Hub in Aberdeen, will connect the oil and gas industry with experts from robotics and academia.

Workshops using the latest facilitation tools and techniques will investigate the potential use of air, land and sea robotics, in partnership with the Edinburgh Centre of Robotics and its new Offshore Robotics for Certification of Assets (ORCA) Hub.

The workshops will provide content and proposed actions plans for the ORCA Hub research programme, and technology projects which the centre can co-invest in with industry.

The centre is hosting three open events across the week, featuring a robotics showcase for visitors to see state-of-the-art technology first-hand, and ‘tech talks’ to learn about application of robotics in other industries and what the future of robotics holds. Interest in attending an open session can be registered here.

The events are the centre’s latest venture into the world of robotics. Earlier this year, a ‘call for ideas’ generated 30 innovative robotic concepts to enhance the quality and lower the cost of pressure vessel and tank inspections. There is £1m of funding for the ideas that make it to the final stage, which is due to take place next month.

Rebecca Allison, asset integrity solution centre manager at OGTC, said: “The potential application of robotics in offshore oil and gas is almost limitless, but as an industry we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible. Companies could re-imagine their business processes and reap a productivity transformation.

“Robotics Week will help us to understand and collaborate on the challenges, solutions and opportunities. We’re bringing together experts from oil and gas, robotics and academia, and the outcomes can be acted upon almost immediately in terms of research and future funding from the centre and industry.”

Professor David Lane, director at the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, who will be speaking at sessions during the week, added: “In many sectors, we’re seeing a significant increase in the use of robots and autonomous systems working with people to improve productivity and efficiency. In the offshore oil and gas industry, I think the use of robotics in hazardous environments is a key growth area.

“The UK has the opportunity and potential to be one of the leading countries in the world in the development of robotics. We have a great research base, which is well invested, and what we’re going to see is new companies and new businesses taking this technology to lots of different markets, including oil and gas, renewables and more.”