Oil & gas operators to use robots as their eyes and ears

Delft, 12-09-2018 – They look, listen, and smell for you, so that you can remain in the comfort of your control room. The robots from ExRobotics are specially developed to conduct surveillance rounds in potentially explosive (Ex) environments. ExRobotics has started manufacturing these robots in Delft for NAM as launching customer. Following the recent company-certification to produce such robots, ExRobotics will be market-leader in Ex-Certified resident mobile robots.

The robots can observe the status of a remote facility via video & audio recordings, read meters, ‘smell’ a gas leak, navigate autonomously through installations and find their way back to their docking station to recharge. This means that inspectors and operators can reduce their visits to remote or hazardous locations, greatly improving their work safety.

NAM plans to start using the first batch of 10 robots in Q4 2018 and expects to eventually introduce this technology to all of its unmanned installations. NAM is the first producer in the oil & gas industry to use this technology on a large scale.

For robots of this kind, the greatest challenge lies not in building remote-controlled robots, but rather in obtaining the certification required to work in an Ex environment. The so-called ATEX/IECEx certification places high demands on the components and materials; many of the required certified materials cannot simply be purchased. Since the ATEX/IECEx norms were devised for stationary installations, they could not simply be applied to robots with small, energy-efficient and mobile components. ExRobotics therefore had to develop most of the components itself before having them certified by UL as notified body in Chicago (USA). The ExRobotics organisation then also had to obtain certification to ensure consistent production of the components. ExRobotics B.V. now possesses a unique combination of this certification and robotics expertise.

On September 12, ExRobotics celebrated the opening of its new production facility in Delft. ExRobotics selected South Holland as the location for their new facility because the robotics climate in the province has a great deal to offer with regard to R&D. Innovation Quarter, the province’s regional development agency, and the Municipality of Delft have offered advice and support to ExRobotics. The new production facility is located close to TU Delft and RoboValley. ExRobotics is looking forward to a fruitful exchange of knowledge and experiences with these two knowledge partners. The company currently has 10 employees, but anticipates strong growth in the years ahead, representing a major boost to the ecosystem in South Holland.

Alderman Bas Vollebregt from Delft: “This outstanding company fits in seamlessly with the Delft high-tech sector. ExRobotics and Delft are therefore a good match that benefits both the company and the city. I am convinced that Delft offers the fertile breeding ground to help enterprises continue to grow. Delft is a leading entrepreneurial region that excels in robotics.”

For more information, samir.elawadi@exrobotics.global Tel.: +31 88 550 4300

About ExRobotics B.V.

ExRobotics is a leading international company specialized in robotic solutions for potentially explosive environments. It produces Ex-certified robots (ATEX and IECEx Zone 1) that can remotely carry out otherwise potentially hazardous safety checks at remote facilities.

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