BP has shared a video of a robot dog being used on one of its oil and gas platforms.
“Spot” has been deployed on the aptly-named Mad Dog installation in the Gulf of Mexico.
The robot dog has been developed by Boston Dynamics for BP to carry out tasks such as inspection and maintenance work.
The use of robots and automatic systems has been touted as a way of reducing the number of personnel offshore, keeping people from dangerous tasks while also cutting down carbon emissions with fewer offshore flights.
Boston Dynamics is a world leader in mobile robotics – another model called “Atlas” went viral last year after footage of it doing parkour and 360 degree flips got more than 12 million Youtube hits.
The humanoid robot can use state-of-the-art hardware to carry out a range of applications, including impressivre feats of agility.
Atlas’ quadrupedal friend Spot uses sensors to avoid obstacles on the platform, and perform tasks like scanning for abnormalities, tracking corrosion, or checking gauges.
Facilities technology manager at Boston Dynamics, Adam Ballard, said: “I see robots as being the eyes, ears, nose, and other senses at our sites.
“It’s about being able to use sensors to have that real-time understanding, and to get the context of the facility for someone such as an office-based employee that’s trying to help troubleshoot a job or a piece of equipment—while minimizing the exposure of people to these potentially dangerous environments.”
Spot became commercially available last year – other customers include Woodside and construction firm Swinerton.
Oil and gas isn’t the only sector using robotics to advance it capabilities in inspection.
Last week footage was released of the BladeBug – a six-legged robot which walks down wind turbines to check for blade damage.
A “world first” trial was carried out over the course of two days in October at the Levenmouth demonstration turbine off the Fife coast.
The scheme is part of a £1 million collaboration involving ORE Catapult, part funded by Innovate UK, to deliver a 30% cost reduction on current blade inspection techniques.