Against a backdrop of increasing demand from process industry customers for service solutions that can address safety, environmental, and economic issues out in the field, Yokogawa has signed a licensing agreement that will enable it to sell and deploy inspection robot hardware and software platforms from ExRobotics, a Netherlands-based developer of robotics technology for hazardous environments.
Under the agreement, Yokogawa will leverage its customer base and global sales and service network to introduce ExRobotics products to offshore and onshore oil and gas production facilities as well as large oil refineries and chemical plants. The collaboration between the two companies was introduced and explained to ARC at the Yokogawa booth during the Industrial Transformation Asia Pacific (ITAP) event in Singapore.
ExRobotics was established in 2017 to commercialize robotics technology for use in the potentially explosive atmospheres found at oil and gas production and processing facilities, which are often in remote locations with harsh environments. Even on normally unmanned facilities, a human presence is generally still needed for regular inspection work, so deploying robots can have a significant positive impact on worker safety by minimizing worker field trips, which in turn reduces operating costs.
Equipment operating in these hazardous environments must have IECEx1 Zone 1 certification, and ExRobotics’ ExR-1 is the first commercially available robot of its kind to meet the stringent requirements. It can be equipped with a range of sensors and cameras, has 4G LTE wireless network capabilities, and remotely monitored and operated by an operator located in a safe control room anywhere in the world. The robot is certified at a module level, which allows for customized configuration, and also has optional modules for gas detection and autonomous navigation.