May 2013

Magnum Hunter Takes Delivery of Robotic Drilling Rig

05/09/13 — Magnum Hunter Resources’ subsidiary Alpha Resources has just taken possession of a “robotic drilling rig” that it plans to use to drill Utica Shale wells for the next three years. The robotic rig can, by itself, lift the entire drilling rig six inches off the ground and rotate it and…


UAVs Help Locate Oil Deposits in Norway

05/23/13 — Like an army, science needs the high ground. This is true when it comes to oil exploration and especially so in the rugged landscape of Norway. The Virtual Outcrop Geology (VOG) group at the Norwegian Centre for integrated petroleum research (CIPR) is working to capture this vantage point in a distinctly 21st century way, by using UAVs to seek out oil by helping geologists build 3D models of the terrain. We tend to think of oil exploration as taking place on desert plains or out in the ocean, but finding oil deposits depends on having a comprehensive understanding of local…


Power utilities claim ‘daily’ and ‘constant’ cyberattacks, says report

News – May 21, 2013, 8:14 PM | By Dara Kerr

A report out of Congress outlines the increased hacks on power grid computer systems, noting that one utility faces 10,000 attempted cyberattacks per month.


Bisol’s upgraded automated manufacturing facility at full capacity

Solar Power Portal-May 29, 2013

The company said it invested around €2 million to further automation of its module manufacturing operations that would ensure 100% traceability from the input


April 2013

The HR-MP20: Helical’s Wireless Climbing Robot

By Frank Griffin, TMCnet Contributing Writer, April 18, 2013

Eventually, robotics will provide reliable and effective solutions to many of the problems we face that require man-hours and safety concerns for the people usually assigned to performing these tasks. One of these unenviable jobs is maintaining wind turbines that produce alternative energy. Wind turbines can have pole heights of more than 300 feet, with an additional 200 feet for the blades. Maintenance crews use binoculars to inspect the turbines for any visible damage and make the necessary repairs. As the size of the units keeps getting bigger, it is becoming increasingly difficult to make thorough inspections from the ground.


Miners slowly jumping on the automation band wagon

Australian Mining-May 1, 2013

Former US-based military officer Tyler Berens spent a year travelling around the world to talk to, and listen to, miners speak about automation. Views on mine


March 2013

How Automation Could Have Saved Fukushima, Part 1

Sustainable Plant-Mar 27, 2013

In previous articles of this series, I described how automation could have prevented the Three-Mile Island and Chernobyl accidents. Now I will do the same for


Emerson wins contract to upgrade automation on Statoil platform in …

Automation World-Mar 19, 2013

Statoil has awarded Emerson Process Management, a business of Emerson, a $33 million contract to upgrade safety and automation systems on the Visund oil


From copper mines to handbags

March 15, 2013 Digitisation and change go hand-in-hand. Take mining. Traditionally characterized by physical labour, it is now an industry that focuses relentlessly on the pursuit of knowledge and new technology. Codelco is the largest copper producer in the world. Owned by the Chilean State, and employing 18,000 people, Codelco faced a number of transformation challenges at the turn of the century, from driving new productivity in an intensely competitive market to meeting tough sustainability targets. An important goal of this new future was automation, moving from a physical-intensive model to a knowledge – and technology-intensive one. For Codelco it was a necessary shift, but how could it realise the benefits of digitisation while also safeguarding the well-being of its employees? Codelco took a hard strategic look at what the future of mining might be. To turn that vision into reality, the company created Codelco Digital. The new business unit had both operational and strategic objectives: to drive initiatives in mining-automation and also to support the company in developing, evolving and communicating a digital vision. For Codelco, digital maturity represented a shift from a reliance on manual labour towards a knowledge-based model. This was about much more than technology. It involved a new culture, employee engagement, and new skills. To overcome internal resistance, the organisation used innovation awards to encourage both ideas and engagement. Marco Antonio Orellana Silva , Codelco’s chief information officer, explains: “our company is very conservative, so changing the culture is a key challenge. We created internal innovation awards to promote new ideas and encourage our workers to innovate.” Today, four mines in Chile are operated automatically: trucks drive themselves, operations are controlled remotely, and information is shared in real-time. And the vision for the future is equally transformative: an intelligent mining model relying on integrated information networks and fully-automated processes. Digital transformation is harder than it looks, but more rewarding than many chief executives might expect. A joint report by the MIT Center for Digital Business and Capgemini Consulting shows that those companies who are using technology to deliver a fundamental transformation of their business are in the minority, but these so-called “Digerati” are on average much more profitable, outperforming their peers by 26 per cent.



February 2012

First line of Northland’s Kaunisvaara iron ore mine goes online

Automation World-Feb 27, 2013

Power and automation company ABB announced that it recently completed commissioning of the integrated electrification and automation system for the first process line of Northland Resources’ Kaunisvaara iron ore concentrator plant. The site is located approximately 100 km north of the Arctic Circle, in Sweden. The initial orders were awarded in the first quarter of 2012 by Metso Minerals and Northland Resources.


Home automation systems growing 23, 2013

ABI Research, a technology-focused market research firm, said 1.5 million home-automation systems were installed worldwide last year, almost double the


Robot called ‘Yeti’ finds cracks in Antarctic ice (blog)-15 hours ago

Meet Yeti, a faithful rover of the robotic kind that sniffs out dangerous crevasses for convoys crossing the glaciers of Antarctica and Greenland, explores ice



January 2013

CMU to Develop Commercial Mining Robots

Posted 12 Jan 2013 at 17:03 UTC by steve

According to a CMU news release, CMU’s Robotics Institute has entered a five year agreement with Anglo American PLC to develop autonomous robots for a variety of mining tasks including mapping and inspection.


Here Is the Robot That Will Extract Water From the Moon

The Atlantic-Jan 30, 2013

The robot (pronounced as “razor”) is an excavator device, designed to extract (yes) water, (yes) ice, and (yes) fuel from the soil of the moon. And from the soil of



December 2012

Petroleum companies install automation machine to ensure pure

Times of India-Dec 29, 2012

HUBLI: Hereafter, people can expect to get unadulterated petrol as petroleum companies have started installing automation machines in their petrol pumps in

The future of automation

Australian Mining-Dec 10, 2012

For experts at Sandvik and the CSIRO, the future of automation in mining is already upon us. And while we’ve started to introduce this technology on Australian



October 2012

RPT-FEATURE-Miners take ‘rail-veyors’ and robots to automated

Reuters-Oct 28, 2012

New, automated mining equipment cuts costs, boosts safety. * Companies eye driverless vehicles, new digging methods. * Automation essential as miners dig


“Our substations need immediate automation

Utility Products-Oct 23, 2012

Our substations need immediate automation. In developed countries, the electrical network is fairly good and is built to adequate capacity, and they have been

How Robots Are Making Solar Power Cheaper

Forbes-by Todd Woody-Oct 31, 2012

Behind a high fence in Menlo Park, Calif. a gray, tuna-shaped robot glides on a monorail around 20 solar panel arrays attached to steel poles, like WALL-E on a

September 2012

Mobile ‘bots work to increase solar panel efficiency (video)

Jason Pepper, Sep 03, 2012 CNET

CNET News correspondent Kara Tsuboi visits Qbotix in Menlo Park, Calif., as the company shows off a new robotic tracking system that pivots solar panels in the direction of the sun.


AeroVironment’s Mola Robot Flies Underwater on Solar Power

Evan Ackerman  /  Tue, August 28, 2012

A mola, or ocean sunfish, is a very big, very flat, and (in this reporter’s opinion) rather silly looking tropical bony fish. Aerovioronment has used the sunfish as an inspiration for one of their latest proof of concept robots: Mola, an oceangoing robot that’s powered by the sun.



Feb. – May 2011

Earth Day: 5 Robots That Can Help Make the Planet Greener

Erico Guizzo  /  Fri, April 22, 2011

Today is Earth Day, and one of my coworkers was telling me about all the little things we can do to help preserve the beautiful place we all live in. That got me thinking, naturally, on things that robots could do to help preserve the planet. Let’s not be disingenuous: robots, like all technologies, are not a panacea. More automation could mean less carbon emissions and less waste, but it could also mean the opposite — it all depends on how we use it. Below I’m listing five robotic technologies that could potentially help to make the planet greener. If you have more robots to add to the list, or if you disagree that robots are Earth-friendly creations, leave a comment below.


Robots Enter Fukushima Reactors, Detect High Radiation

Erico Guizzo  /  Mon, April 18, 2011

The Associated Press is reporting that two PackBot ground robots from iRobot have entered Unit 1 and Unit 3 of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant and performed readings of temperature, oxygen levels, and radioactivity.


Robots Critical to Survival of Alternative Energy Industry

April 18, 2011

As alternative methods of producing energy become increasingly sought-after, production must keep pace. For alternative energy industries to survive and thrive, they must increase their reliance on the industrial robot.


E-waste outfit automates to ramp up (photos) Slideshow

Thursday, February 10, 2011 Posted by Martin LaMonica

An electronics waste center in Ontario, Canada, uses a high level of automation to handle an expected higher rate of volume.


One day a robot may ask, ‘Paper or plastic?’

Friday, May 13, 2011 Posted by Christopher MacManus

Researchers from Stanford University create an autonomous checkout clerk capable of scanning and bagging your items in real time.



January 2011

Move Over, WALL-E: Puttering Along Power Lines

New York Times (blog) – Matthew L. Wald – ‎Jan 12, 2011‎

Electric Power Research Institute A prototype of the robot that would monitor transmission lines for problems.



November 2010

Automation in Siberian field provides more stable operations

Oil & Gas Journal – Ron Cramer – ‎Nov 1, 2010‎

Automation in Salym field of western Siberia has reduced operator travel and hazard exposure, reduced interruption in electric submersible pump operations, …


August 2010

Automation of Industrial Processes

MeasurementDevices – ‎Aug 30, 2010‎

The answer to the crisis for large energy companies

Bucuresti, Romania — Both goods producers and big energy companies as well as associated services (like transportation, infrastructure) are looking for alternative solutions to productivity growth and cost reduction. A possible answer is the implementation or extension of industrial automation processes. “In this difficult times, Romanian companies are interested in operational costs cut downs and looking for the best solutions that can meet the automation needs in industrial activities,” says Ion Andronache, CEO at Syscom 18, a company that delivers integrated systems in industrial automation. Although the industrial automation market has almost downsized by half comparing to the period before the crisis (2007 – 2008), as well as the number of projects in oil, gas, metallurgical and fossil fuel powered plants, large companies kept on investing in equipment and services that essentially contributed to industrial process efficiency.


Scientists’ Robot Submarine Discovers Plume of Oil in the Gulf – ‎Aug 20, 2010‎

Scientists used robot submarine to wander across the deep of the gulf water and discovered plume of oil under the deep of the Mexican Gulf.

Robots Swarm Oil Spills

Posted 26 Aug 2010 at 22:41 UTC by Rog-a-matic

In spite of new and unexpected findings by a Berkeley Lab research team that microbes have done an amazing job taking care of the underwater oil plume in the Gulf of Mexico, oil on the surface can cause a lot of damage to wildlife and property if it washes ashore. Researchers at MIT are working out ways to skim that surface oil using a swarm of robots. The robots communicate with each other using a WiFi network, and using GPS then coordinate their movements with software inspired by natural swarms. Oil is dealt with on the spot by heating it thus avoiding a lengthy trip to shore. See the video.


Cover Story Automating one of North America’s largest pipelines

InTech – Steve Pulsifer, Jim Nelson – ‎Aug 5, 2010‎

It is very important automation system suppliers and engineering partners provide necessary equipment and control technology support with maximum speed, …


ABB bags USD 20 million Sadaf contract

SteelGuru – Aug 15, 2010‎

Trade Arabia reported that automation technology group ABB has won USD 20 million contract from Saudi Petrochemical Company to implement a power factor correction and power management solution at its Jubail manufacturing complex. As per the deal, ABB will deploy solution to help Sadaf improve its network efficiency and, accordingly, significantly reduce the electricity losses while improving the stability of its power supply. Owned jointly by Saudi Basic Industries Corporation and Shell Chemicals Arabia, Sadaf was established in 1980 and began commercial operation in 1986. The company operates from one of the worlds largest and most competitive petrochemical complexes in Al Jubail industrial zone on Saudi Arabia’s eastern coast.