04/04/2016 - News


The second competition in the ARGOS robots' Challenge kicks off today, April 4. The AIR-K, ARGONAUTS, FOXIRIS, LIO and VIKINGS teams are back on the Lacq site to compete against one another for the second time. What is the program for the testing week? What do the new tests involve? Overview of this decisive phase.

An intensive, demanding and ambitious program

Six missions have been lined up for the teams from April 4 to 8 – four in autonomous mode, one in remote-controlled and one is a mixture of both control modes. The aim is to have the robots tackle missions that reflect the reality of situations in the field. The key scenarios they will have to face include:

  • A gas leak simulation using ultrasound (acoustics).
  • Obstacles placed at random on the circuit.
  • Alarms, unusual noises/interference.
  • A communication system crash (WIFI).
  • An unexpected source of heat.
  • Inconsistencies between the 3D model of the site and the actual field.

Using their artificial intelligence, the robots will have to detect anomalies, analyze each new situation and react accordingly: autonomously return to the designated safety zone in the event of an emergency, alert the operator, etc. 

Through these missions, the jury will test the robots' capacity to manage unexpected and potentially risky situations.

This year, the robots will also issue a report on their inspection rounds after each mission. The data, images and measurements submitted will enable the jury to fine-tune their evaluation as soon as the test has been completed.

Another new feature of this second stage is that the missions will take place on the ground and first floors of the UMAD, which means that the robots will have to negotiate the stairs in order to complete their inspection rounds.

ATEX certification at the crux of the competition

"The main aim of the ARGOS Challenge is to create robots able to operate in potentially explosive environments. ATEX certification is now a priority and a prerequisite for all evaluations of the potential of robotics in the oil & gas industry," emphasized Alan Goulois – President of the ARGOS jury and Senior Vice President, R&D, E&P until 2014 – in his closing speech for the first competition.  Ten months on, the jury will be particularly attentive to the solutions put forward by the teams concerning ATEX standards during the presentation of the technical dossiers. An ambitious, yet vital challenge!

Coming soon: the photos and the results of the competition