News

GE Inspection Robotics and IRISNDT collaboration wins the 2017 SPRINT Robotics Award

The SPRINT Robotics Award 2017 has been awarded to GE Inspection Robotics and IRISNDT. This award by the SPRINT Robotics Collaborative is awarded annually in recognition of ground-breaking collaborative work towards the acceptance of inspection and maintenance robotics in our society. The award was presented at the 2017 SPRINT Robotics Seminar on 13 December 2017 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. The Seminar was hosted by Dietsmann, a global leader in plant operation and maintenance based in Monaco.

The award was earned by the two companies for collaboration between a technology company and an industrial service provider to deliver a novel inspection solution that does not require human entry in large industrial pressure vessels. The API 510 compliant visual inspection method was developed and implemented at two different petrochemical facilities, one in the USA and another in the UK. Marcel Blinde, CEO of IRISNDT, said: “We are very proud to be presented with this award. It stimulates us to keep searching for novel service solutions that increase our added value to our customers”. Ekkehard Zwicker, CEO of GE Inspection Robotics, said: “Close collaboration with service providers and end users is essential for us to develop world-class robotic solutions. We learn a lot from such collaborations”. The primary drivers for this innovation are worker safety and plant availability. Eliminating the need for human entry in such hazardous environments greatly contributes to safety of personnel in the petrochemical industry. In addition, this inspection method speeds up the inspection process, resulting in increased plant availability, while maintaining plant reliability.

The 2nd place was awarded to the Austrian robotic developer Taurob who, in collaboration with TU Darmstadt and Total, developed and demonstrated the ARGOS-winning Argonauts – a fully automated, ATEX certified inspection robot. US-based Diakont was awarded the 3rd place for their collaboration with Chevron Energy Technology Company for the development and deployment of their Stingray – a Class 1 Division 1 Explosion Proof system designed and developed for the inspection of storage tank floors.

Tjibbe Bouma, Chairman of the SPRINT Robotics Collaborative, said: “SPRINT Robotics congratulates GE Inspection Robotics and IRISNDT for winning the SPRINT Robotics Award 2017. The large number of nominations received reconfirms that robotics for inspection & maintenance is a hot topic. The winning partnership is a prime example of collaborative efforts across the value chain to fast-track new solutions that keep our workforce safe”.

Tjibbe Bouma (left), Marcel Blinde (middle), Ekkehard Zwicker (right)

About the SPRINT Robotics Collaborative: Founded in January 2015, the SPRINT Robotics Collaborative is a not-for-profit, industry-driven foundation that promotes the development, availability, application and commercialization of robotic techniques in technical inspections and maintenance of capital intensive infrastructure. The goal of the SPRINT Robotics Collaborative is to fast-track the market readiness of robotic solutions as these can reduce the cost, improve the quality and increase the safety of performing maintenance, inspection and cleaning activities.

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The Robotics Information and Brokerage event organised by SPARC

The Robotics Information and Brokerage event organised by SPARC will bring people from the robotics field together to explore the new 2018-2020 work programme and in particular the call for Robotics Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH).

The event will take place on 6 December 2017, Brussels44Center, Passage 44, Boulevard du Jardin Botanique 44, 1000 Brussels, www.b44c.com

Please note, that the Robotics part of the H2020 Work Programme in 2018 is only calling for networks of Digital Innovation Hubs in the selected Priority Areas (and a Coordination and Support Action), but not for any Research and Innovation Action (RIA) focusing on core technologies. These will be covered by calls in 2019-2020.

The call for networks of Digital Innovation Hubs concentrates on the four selected Priority Areas (PAs); healthcare, inspection and maintenance of infrastructure, agri-food, and agile production.

The Brokerage Day provides a unique opportunity to network ahead of the up-coming calls in 2018-2020 and to gain an insight into the new work programme shape. Presentations will cover the current and future work programmes, the operation of Hubs and details of the current Call in 2018.

The event is open to all stakeholders and is not restricted to euRobotics members.

 

Please register here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sparc-robotics-information-brokerage-day-2017-tickets-39689966759

 

Agenda

10:00-10:30 Welcome coffee

10:30 – 11:30 Overview of H2020 Robotics Work Programme 2018-2020

  • Introduction to Hubs, Platforms and Pilots
  • Overview of Digital Innovation Hubs; what do they deliver, how do hey work and who are the stakeholders.
  • Overview of the Work Programme related to Robotics
    • Details for DT-ICT-02-2018: Robotics – Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH)
    • FSTP’s, CSA’s and Working Groups.
    • Future Calls for pilots
    • AI platform
  • Rules for Participation and practical hints
  • Open Discussion

12:30- 13:30 Lunch

13:30 – 16:30 Parallel sessions and/or Poster sessions related to the four Priority Areas and individual meetings to stimulate consortia building.

More information will be published at

https://www.eu-robotics.net/sparc/newsroom/press/robotics-brokerage-day-2017.html

 

The H2020 ICT Work Programme 2018-2020 can be found here:

http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/wp/2018-2020/main/h2020-wp1820-leit-ict_en.pdf

 

 

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‘Robotics & AI’ Investor Showcase Pitch Event

Robotics and AI are a key part of the UK Industrial Strategy and public sector funding is being made available to support R&D in the sector. At the same time private sector investors are actively seeking opportunities to invest in early stage Robotics and AI companies.

Oxford Investment Opportunity Network (OION) in collaboration with RACE, the UKAEA’s centre for Remote Applications in Challenging Environments, will be hosting a Robotics and AI Investor Showcase Event at Culham Science Centre on Thursday 18th January 2018.

This showcase event (which will also include a panel discussion on latest developments in the sector by leading academic experts) is looking to connect ambitious high growth companies with highly active investors.

Entrepreneurs and early stage Robotics and AI companies that are seeking to raise £100k+ equity investment are invited to submit an application to present at the event. View the flyer outlining the details of the event.

A wide range of investors will also be invited to attend the event and appropriately qualified investors are invited to attend by registering here.

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SPRINT Robotics Seminar in Monaco

The SPRINT Robotics Collaborative is pleased to invite you to the upcoming SPRINT Robotics Seminar, which will be hosted by Dietsmann, in Monte Carlo, Monaco, on 13 December 2017.

Venue: Grimaldi Forum

The program will cover a range of perspectives and developments in the domain of Inspection & Maintenance Robotics. This will include perspectives of end-users on the use of robotics for inspection and maintenance related activities in industries with capital intensive infrastructure, as well as those of the other members of the value chain, such as robotic technology developers, NDT service providers, knowledge centers, academia, regulators, and more.

A welcoming reception and networking dinner is also scheduled for the evening prior to the seminar (12 December 2017).

Rates:

  12 December 2017:
Welcoming Reception & Networking Dinner
13 December 2017:
Seminar & Exhibition
  Early Bird:
Before 15-10
After 15-10 Early Bird:
Before 15-10
After 15-10
SPRINT Robotics members * € 95 € 125 € 350 € 450
Non-members € 95 € 125 € 495 € 695

* SPRINT Robotics members get a limited number of seats for the seminar for free.
All amounts are excluding VAT.

View Preliminary Program

The seminar will also include an exhibition. Companies that are interested in exhibiting should contact us on info@sprintrobotics.org

Register now!
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SPRINT Robotics Demonstration Days at BASF Freeport

The SPRINT Robotics Collaborative is pleased to invite you to the upcoming SPRINT Robotics Demonstration Days, which will be hosted by BASF Freeport, Texas, USA, on 25 October 2017.

Using robotics in the domain of technical inspection and maintenance of capital intensive infrastructure is of vital importance because of the urgency to minimize the impact on safety and the environment. Developments in this domain are moving very fast, and we invite you to come and see some of the available solutions in action! 

Confirmed demonstrators:

October 25, 2017
9:00 am – 3:00 pm

BASF Freeport Plant
602 Copper Road,
Freeport, TX 77541
United States

Free!
Registration required

Register now!
The Freeport Verbund site is the leading producer of basic chemicals, intermediates and fiber products. The picture shows the facility with the new superabsorbent polymer plant. Print free of charge. Copyright by BASF.
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2017 Houston Seminar

The SPRINT Robotics Collaborative, in collaboration with Chevron, organized its 4th International Seminar on April 11th & 12th 2017, in Houston, Texas, USA. The 2-day Seminar, hosted at Chevron’s Global headquarters, was titled “Inspection & Maintenance Robotics: Driving Efficiency” and saw leaders in the associated industries share their perspectives on the status, requirements and need for the application of inspection and maintenance robotics.

The Seminar was organized on the back of the successful 2016 SPRINT Robotics Seminar in Houston (also hosted by Chevron) and had a turnout of 122 attendees which represented 72 different companies ranging from oil and gas companies, robotic technology developers, NDT service providers, knowledge centers, academia, regulators, and more. While the majority of the companies were based in North America, the seminar had a large European turnout and a number of companies from Japan and Singapore were also represented.

Day 1 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. Buddy Lang, General Manager of Facilities Engineering at Chevron delivered the keynote address, after which the audience was treated to highly informative and thought-provoking presentations from Chevron, Total and BP. The 2nd half of the day offered perspectives and developments from a service industry perspective via presentations by IRISNDT and EM&I, while NASA, NineSigma and the Singapore Economic Development Board shared interesting opportunities for the development of new technologies.

An important item on the day’s agenda was the official release of the SPRINT Robotics Strategic Roadmap (available here). The day concluded with a panel discussion and a networking dinner.

Professor Satoshi Tadokoro, President of IEEE RAS, delivered the keynote address on Day 2. The day’s agenda was somewhat different to that if Day 1 with the needs and opportunities for robotics in other industries and other areas of the value chain being considered. Presentations by BASF and AkzoNobel offered perspectives from the Chemical industry, Boeing provided an interesting insight into robotics in the aerospace industry, and Rice University provided the audience with an update on robotic research from academia. Chevron Technology Ventures gave insights on the scouting and adoption of new technologies and 2 API inspectors shared the challenges and requirements by the industry in daily practice.

The Seminar hosted an exhibition and, following on the success of our previous events, they were also given the opportunity to briefly introduce their companies to the audience and share a case study. Ranging from robotics and technology developers to inspection service providers, a total of 21 companies made use of this opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities, commitment and support towards growing and enhancing the inspection and maintenance robotics industry. In addition, the morning of April 13th, following the 2-day seminar, was set aside for technology demonstrations at the PRCI Technology Development Centre in Houston. This additional event was very well received, with 7 companies demonstrating their technologies and a turnout of approximately 60 people.

The 2017 SPRINT Robotics Seminar in Houston was a great success and was a clear demonstration of the industry progress and acceptance of inspection and maintenance robotics. Attendees shared their appreciation for the relevant topics addressed during the Seminar, the meaningful discussions and the networking opportunities.

Our next seminar will be hosted by Dietsmann in Monte Carlo, Monaco, on Wednesday,  December 13th, 2017. Keep an eye on our website for announcements.

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Technology Demonstrations at PRCI, April 13th

We are pleased to confirm that, as an extension to the SPRINT Robotics Seminar scheduled for April 11th & 12th, 2017, in Houston, Texas, USA, our seminar exhibitors will also be demonstrating their technologies at the PRCI Technology Development Centre in Houston on the morning following the seminar (April 13th). The demonstrations are scheduled to take place between 09:00-11:00. We invite and encourage all interest parties to attend.

For more information, contact us on info@sprintrobotics.org 

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Workshop: The Minimum Viable Product Approach

A way to bridge the valley of death in Inspection & Maintenance Robotics

Showcases, Discussion, Brainstorming with key stakeholder from the industry

 

View Summary of inspection and maintenance workshop at ERF 2017

 

The euRobotics Maintenance and Inspection Topic Group in cooperation with the SPRINT Robotics Collaborative will host a workshop on “the minimum viable product (MVP) approach” applied within the field of inspection and maintenance robotics. The workshop is part of the European Robotics Forum held in Edinburgh, Scotland, on 22 – 24 March 2017.

The objective of this workshop is to showcase the MVP approach with views from research, robotic technology providers and end users, and to discuss and brainstorm if and how this approach can be further applied to get faster and more efficient from research to working solutions applied in daily industry life.

Inspection & Maintenance is a rather conservative business. Although robotics provides a significant value it is difficult to establish robotics as a common practice, especially in the energy sector (Oil&Gas, Power generation). As a consequence the valley of death for new robotic solutions is bigger and hotter than in other industries. Several actions have been taken to bridge the valley of death (robotic contests, EU-funded projects). All with promising results but it will take further time to open the market for robotics.

A promising approach seems to the “Minimum Viable Product” (MVP) approach. With the MVP approach the value of robotics can be demonstrated and a common understanding of the robotic capabilities is established – all this with a limited invest for all parties involved.

Program for the Workshop:

  • 14:00-14:10: Introduction to the session and the MVP approach.
  • 14:10-15:00: Presentation from different stakeholders: asset owners, service providers, technology providers and research institutes.
  • 15:00-15:25: Brainstorming Session. Golden Question: How can the MVP approach help robotics to bridge the valley of death in a conservative industrial environment?
  • 15:25-15:30: Summary and follow-up

Detailed Program for stakeholder presentations:

Introduction

  • 14:00: Aksel Transeth, SINTEF
  • 14:05: Ekkehard Zwicker, GE Inspection Robotics

The Asset Owner View

  • 14:10: Kris Kydd, Total
  • 14:17: Russell Brown

The Service Provider view

  • 14:24: Barend van den Bos, Dekra Industrial AB

The Robotic Supplier view

  • 14:31: Ekkehard Zwicker, GE Inspection Robotics
  • 14:38: Andrew Graham, OC Robotics

The Research View

  • 14:45: Aksel Transeth, SINTEF
  • 14:52: Marco Hutter, ETH

Questions? Please contact Aksel Transeth, e-mail: Aksel.A.Transeth@sintef.no, phone: +47 412 26 902.

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SPRINT Robotics Seminar, Houston, 11 & 12 April 2017

The SPRINT Robotics Collaborative is pleased to invite you to the upcoming SPRINT Robotics Seminar, which will be hosted by Chevron, in Houston, Texas, USA, on 11 & 12 April 2017.

Address: 1500 Louisiana Street, Houston, TX

The program will cover a range of perspectives and developments in the domain of Inspection & Maintenance Robotics. This will include perspectives of end-users on the use of robotics for inspection and maintenance related activities in industries with capital intensive infrastructure, as well as those of the other members of the value chain, such as robotic technology developers, NDT service providers, knowledge centers, academia, regulators, and more.

View Program

 

Tickets for the event are $400 per person. SPRINT Robotics participating companies get a limited number of seats for free.

The SPRINT Robotics Collaboration is also organizing a networking dinner for the evening of the Seminar Day 1 – Tuesday,  April 11th, 2017.  Tickets for the networking dinner are $100 per person.

During the course of the Seminar, companies will have the opportunity to participate as exhibitors. This is free of charge for SPRINT Robotics Participants. For non-participants, the cost is $2000-. All interest in exhibiting, please contact us on info@sprintrobotics.org

We are pleased to shared that on the morning following the seminar (April 13th) our exhibitors will be demonstrating their technologies at the PRCI Technology Development Centre in Houston – we invite all interest parties to attend.

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