The SPRINT Robotics Collaborative, in collaboration with Chevron, organized its 2nd International Seminar on April 4th & 5th 2016, in Houston, Texas, USA. The 2-day Seminar, hosted at Chevron’s Global headquarters, was titled “The Global Outlook for Inspection and Maintenance Robotics” and saw leaders in the associated industries share their perspectives on the status, requirements and needs for the application of inspection and maintenance robotics.
The Houston Seminar was organized on the back of the successful first SPRINT Robotics Seminar held in September 2015, at the Shell Technology Centre in Amsterdam. The Amsterdam Seminar had a turnout of 104 attendees, representing 59 different companies. The Houston Seminar was a huge step-up, hosting more than 200 attendees over the 2 days. Approximately 90 different companies were represented, ranging from oil and gas companies, robotic technology developers, NDT service providers, knowledge centers, academia, regulators, and more. Although the majority of these companies were based in North America, numerous European- and Japanese-based companies were also represented.
The Houston Seminar also offered a number of companies the opportunity to participate by means of an exhibition space and short company presentation. Ranging from robotics and technology developers to inspection service providers, a total of 21 companies made use of this opportunity to demonstrate their commitment and support towards growing and enhancing the inspection and maintenance robotics industry.
The first day of the Houston Seminar saw a number of oil and gas majors sharing their views, interests and experiences related to inspection and maintenance robotics in their industries. The audience was treated to highly informative and thought-provoking presentations from Chevron, BP, Shell, JOGMEC and Phillips 66. The University of Twente (The Netherlands) and Purdue University (Indiana, USA) added an academic dimension to the day’s agenda and shared some of their latest research and developments in the domain of inspection and maintenance robotics. The day concluded with an engaging panel discussion, an exhibition session and a networking dinner.
Day 2 approached the Seminar title from a different angle – whereas Day 1 was centered around the perspectives of the asset owners and operators, speakers from NASA, JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) and NREC (the National Robotics Engineering Centre) provided the audience with insights to some of their latest research and developments on Day 2. Other main presentations included the PETROBOT Project and the IIW Commission V. Throughout the day, each of the 21 exhibitors were also given the opportunity to introduce their companies to the audience and share products and/or services that are of interest to the industry.
The 2016 SPRINT Robotics Seminar in Houston was a phenomenal success and was a clear demonstration of the rapidly rising interest in this fast growing field. Attendees shared their appreciation for the relevant topics addressed during the Seminar, the meaningful discussion and the networking opportunities. Feedback received so far include statements like “by far one of the best executed technical events I’ve had the honor to participate in”, and “one of the most engaging events I have ever attended”. Attendees also acknowledged the value of SPRINT Robotics’ philosophy, objectives and activities with many companies committing to becoming actively involved with SPRINT Robotics.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that SPRINT Robotics will be back in Houston for another event in April 2017! Please keep an eye on our website for announcements. And if you are interested in becoming more involved, we would be happy to hear from you.