ANYbotics Unveils World’s First Explosion-Proof Inspection Robot

By : Dr. Franyi Sarmiento, Ph.D., Inspenet, March 30, 2022.

Swiss robotics company ANYbotics introduces ANYmal X, the world’s first explosion-proof robot. This new robot makes it possible to automate routine inspections in the oil, gas and chemical industries, thereby increasing safety and operational efficiency.

In addition, ANYmal X extends the mobility, autonomy, and robotic inspection intelligence of ANYbotics. It is specifically designed and certified for safe use in hazardous and potentially explosive environments.

For the oil and gas and chemical industries, robotic inspection solutions reduce health, safety and environmental risks and operating expenses, including high travel costs for inspection specialists abroad.

With autonomous robotic inspections, plant operators benefit from reduced manual work, less exposure of people to hazardous environments, no facility inspection stops, less unplanned downtime, from improved workflows through better data tagging, automated reporting, and insights that allow operations to be quickly adjusted.

“Several partners are including ANYmal X in their inspection planning and staffing. We are delighted with this industry-wide impact to improve the safety and efficiency of oil and gas and chemical operations through our robotic solution,” said Péter Fankhauser, CEO of ANYbotics.

Global energy company PETRONAS has been leading the integration of explosion-proof certified autonomous robots with the needs of the oil and gas industry by partnering with ANYbotics to co-develop ANYmal X since 2019. In addition, several global operators have already signed up for the ANYmal X onboarding program, including Norway-based Equinor, present in 30 countries, Petrobras, the Brazil-based global oil and gas producer that operates 67 platforms, Woodside , the leading producer of natural gas based in Australia, and Shell, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies based in London.

Each partner defines the mission tasks that the ANYmal X robot will perform together with ANYbotics. Tasks include visual inspections and automated readings of analog instruments such as pressure gauges, liquid level and lever positions, advanced thermography and vibration analysis of equipment, and 3D scanning of infrastructure. Additionally, ANYmal X is equipped with gas detection sensors to monitor for the presence of methane, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, and other gases.

The ANYmal X robot is approved according to IECEx and ATEX certification standards for use in Zone 1 explosive atmospheres. The challenge of bringing all the capabilities and performance of an inspection robot into an explosion-proof system was a serious undertaking and required ANYbotics to completely rethink how they develop robots. For safe use in hazardous and potentially explosive environments, all systems must be protected against any gas ignition. The robots are powered by motors, electronic components, batteries and, in the case of ANYmal X, by autonomous systems.


Photo : ANYbotics