NASA robonaut gets to work at Woodside
A NASA robonaut has arrived in Perth for a five-year stay with Woodside to allow the oil and gas company to develop ways for future robots to complete tasks such as turning valves and sensing gas leaks.
NASA and General Motors developed robonauts to work alongside astronauts and to do dangerous work alone.
Woodside’s robot, R2C3, is only the third to leave the Johnson Space Centre in Houston. The others are at the International Space Station and at GM.
Woodside chief technology officer Shaun Gregory said the company’s operations personnel had identified 300 potential tasks for robots at its LNG plants and offshore platforms.
Now, if a problem on the unmanned Pluto platform was detected, a maintenance crew was flown out on a helicopter for a task that might be as simple as turning a valve.
The robonaut can work safely alongside humans, and only slight force is needed to stop movement.
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