The purpose of the ARGOS Challenge is to foster the development of a new generation of autonomous robots in less than three years. These robots will be capable of performing inspection tasks, detecting anomalies and intervening in emergency situations. The teams will compare the performance of their robots in a series of three competitions scheduled from June 2015 to March 2017. The winner of the challenge will be announced in spring 2017.
Increasingly complex tests
The robots will be tested at Lacq (South-West France) on a site representative of Total’s operating environment: the UMAD (Availability Unit) managed by SOBEGI (which manages the SEVESO platforms at Lacq and Mourenx).This is a former gas dehydration unit, now used for training human operators and emergency response teams.
As the competitions progress, the tests will develop and become increasing complex: avoiding obstacles, climbing stairs, taking readings, working under downgraded conditions (wet and slippery floors, etc.), detecting anomalies (leaks of gases or other fluids), etc.
A demanding set of specifications
Teams must demonstrate that their robot complies with ATEX/IECEx standards, in other words it is sufficiently robust to operate in a potentially explosive atmosphere.
The robots will strengthen operators' safety but also optimize operations on both on-shore and off-shore industrial facilities.
In normal situations:
Perform inspection tasks autonomously, carry out “spot” assignments: reporting, inspection of places which are hard to access, isolated sites, etc.
In emergency situations:
Detect anomalies including oil and gas leaks, alert operators and transmit data and images in real time, operate on an incident site, which is inaccessible to personnel, to report on the situation.
- December 2013: launch of the call for projects.
- March 18, 2014: closure of the call for projects.
- March to June 2014: team selection
- September 2014: challenge launch meeting with the selected teams
- April 2015: tests week session
- June 2015: first competition
- April 2016: second competition
- March 2017: third competition