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Meet Spot, the Quadruped Robot for Offshore Inspections


Aker BP and Cognite, a global industrial artificial intelligence software-as-a-service company, announced that Aker BP will do several tests using robots and drones on the Aker BP-operated Skarv installation in the Norwegian Sea during 2020. This initiative will explore how robotics systems can be used to make offshore operations safer, more efficient, and more sustainable.

Among the robots involved in the initiative is Spot, the quadruped robot developed by Boston Dynamics. The Spot robot was showcased at Aker BP’s Capital Markets Day yesterday.

Cognite and Aker BP have tested Spot’s mobility in simulated oil and gas environments to ensure that it can access locations in these facilities too difficult to access through traditional automation. The robotics systems will be tested to gauge their performance in autonomous inspection, high-quality data capture, and automatic report generation. Tasks may include aerial and underwater inspections, responding to leaks, performing work that takes humans out of harm’s way, and providing onshore operators with telepresence on offshore installations.

“Digitalization will be one of the differentiators between the oil companies of the world, in order to be able to deliver low cost and low emissions. … Exploring the potential of robotics offshore underpin our digital journey,” said Karl Johnny Hersvik, CEO of Aker BP.

Cognite’s main software product, Cognite Data Fusion (CDF), will serve as the data infrastructure for the initiative. CDF, a cloud-based industrial data operations and intelligence platform, which integrates with existing IT and OT applications in the cloud, edge, and on-premise. It contextually enriches industrial data, providing an open, unified industrial data model that is easily accessible for humans and applications, enabling better analytical operations and data-driven decisions.

“The key to Aker BP and Cognite’s robotics initiative is that it combines industry-leading hardware and software. By ingesting data collected by robots into Cognite Data Fusion, Aker BP engineers will be able to see it in context with data from across the company’s operations and make data-driven decisions that improve efficiency and safety,” said John Markus Lervik, CEO of Cognite.

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