‘Spot’ Robot being Tested for Oil & Gas Industry

Cognite, a global industrial AI software-as-a-service (SaaS) company, and Aker BP, a European oil and gas company, will explore how robotics systems can be used to make offshore operations safer and more efficient and sustainable, Cognite recently announced. 

“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,” said Karl Johnny Hersvik, CEO of Aker BP. “Our vision is to digitalize all our operations from cradle to grave in order to increase productivity, enhance quality and improve the safety of our employees. Exploring the potential of robotics offshore underpins our digital journey.”

One of the robots in the initiative is Spot, a quadruped robot developed by Boston Dynamics that was showcased at Aker BP’s Capital Markets Update yesterday. 

“We’re excited to see innovative partners such as Cognite validating Spot’s ability to reduce risk to humans and provide value for the energy industry,” said Michael Perry, Vice President of Business Development at Boston Dynamics.

Spot, along with other robots and drones, will undergo tests on the Skarv installation in the Norwegian Sea this year. 

“The robotics systems will be tested to gauge their performance in autonomous inspection, high-quality data capture and automatic report generation,” reads a news release by Cognite. “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.” 

Cognite and Aker said they 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.”

Cognite Data Fusion (CDF), a cloud-based industrial data operations and intelligence platform, will be the data infrastructure for the robotics initiative.

“The key to Aker BP and Cognite’s robotics initiative is that it combines industry-leading hardware and software,” said Dr. John Markus Lervik, CEO of Cognite. “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.” 


Watch Spot in action. 


Photo courtesy of Boston Dynamics Twitter.