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Robotics Research
Posted on August 29, 2019 by  & 

The next step in robotic industrial inspection

ANYbotics announces a new generation of its autonomous legged robot. Named ANYmal C, this robot is optimized for industrial inspection tasks where it can provide high availability, safety, and reliability for automated routine inspections with a wide range of sensors. For more information see the IDTechEx report on Mobile Robots and Drones in Material Handling and Logistics 2018-2038.
Industrial Inspection with Mobile Robots
Autonomous mobile robots will revolutionize industrial inspection. Executing pre-defined missions, autonomous systems can safely and reliably navigate through industrial plants and carry sensors to collect and interpret equipment and environment data.
To navigate the complex infrastructure of industrial plants, ANYbotics introduces their next-generation autonomous legged robot ANYmal C. Built around the superior mobility of four legs, ANYmal C can move through industrial environments including steps and stairs without the need for any adaptations to a facility. Carrying a variety of sensors such as visual and thermal cameras, LIDAR, microphones, and gas detection sensors, ANYmal perceives and interprets a broad range of physical properties. The system evaluates instruments, checks for the status of objects, detects hotspots, and senses gases - even in situations that are threatening to human inspectors.
The ANYbotics team has been building legged robots for more than ten years and developed the new generation ANYmal C from the feet up based on industry requirements. At the core, powerful torque-controllable actuators have been designed to carry the robot over steep stairs and to reliably take the strain of over a million cycles. LIDAR and depth cameras provide a 360-degree high precision view of the robot's environment. Teleoperation is simplified by integrated wide-angle cameras and an industrial-grade remote control. Intel i7 Hexa-core processors deliver the computation power for advanced locomotion control, real-time mapping, autonomous navigation, and for sophisticated on-board custom applications. These features are enclosed in a user-friendly, ruggedized, and fully water- and dustproof IP67 design. ANYmal C carries up to 10 kg in payload, and after two hours of operations on a single battery charge, the robot autonomously connects to a docking station for recharging.
The energy, oil & gas, processing, and many other industries have been eagerly awaiting mobile robotic solutions to improve safety and efficiency in their operations. Due to their high complexity, industrial plants are difficult to operate without failures, and due to high downtime costs, plant operators are very keen to avoid interruptions. To prevent equipment from failing, plants need to be monitored and inspected regularly, and manual data collection by human inspectors is a tedious and error-prone task in a potentially dangerous environment. Even if parts of the equipment are sensorized, defects such as leakages, rust, hotspots, or missing equipment are challenging to detect. For this reason, autonomous mobile robots will fundamentally change the inspection strategy of operators and allow for optimized plant architectures in the future.
Source and top image: ANYbotics
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