The purpose of the ARGOS Challenge was to foster the development of a new generation of autonomous robots in less than three years.

From June 2015 to March 2017, the five prototypes were tested in Lacq (Pyrénées-Atlantiques region of France), on a competition site representative of Total facilities and operating conditions.

The performance of these robots was assessed by a jury of four international experts and four Total employees, headed by Alain Goulois, R&D Manager at Total Exploration-Production until 2014.

In May 2017, team ARGONAUTS won the ARGOS Challenge.

Results and ranking of the 1st competition of June 2015

Results and ranking of the 2nd competition of April 2016

Highlights of the 3rd and last competition of March 2016 

Increasingly complex tests

The robots tackled missions that reflected real life operational scenarios. The main priority was to demonstrate the robots' ability to operate in potentially explosive atmospheres (ATEX standard).

The ARGONAUTS team surpassed the requirements of the ARGOS Challenge regulations by presenting a fully ATEX-certified robot at the third competition.

Multiple applications

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.

The schedule

  • 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