Applications of advanced robotics systems have grown over the past couple of decades in a wide range of industries. These include deployments in the space, military, manufacturing, mining, agriculture, emergency-response, oil and gas, transportation and many other sectors. Innovations in materials, sensors, actuators, mechanical design, computing hardware, software architectures, modeling and simulation, control algorithms, motion planning, machine perception, artificial intelligence and machine learning have all contributed to the highly capable and reliable robotics systems available today. At NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), robots that integrate technologies from all these disciplines are being developed for a variety of space and terrestrial applications. This paper will give an overview of some of the state-of-the-art technologies being developed at JPL and describe potential applications for them in the oil and gas industry. Robotics skills and expertise at JPL are broadly categorized by discipline into the general areas of mechanical & electrical hardware development, modeling & simulation, mobility systems, manipulation & sampling systems, computer vision & perception, estimation & control, and operations. Through the life cycle of a robotics project, these skills are drawn on, usually with hardware, embedded systems and modeling and simulation development emphasized in the early stages and transitioning to advanced control, behavior and intelligence development at the later stages. Integration of these capabilities into robotics systems has resulted in a number of cutting-edge applications in planetary exploration, in-space servicing, surgery, ground, marine and aerial vehicles, and search & rescue. Areas in the offshore industry where these technologies could be applied include surveillance, inspection and maintenance of offshore surface and underwater facilities, automation of drilling, and production processes, safety and security monitoring and spill monitoring and cleanup. The benefits to be gained in developing robotics systems for oil and gas applications include reduced exposure of human operators to hazardous conditions, improved precision & reliability, and reduced cost. Current robotics technology is sufficiently mature for near-term applications in surveillance, inspection and maintenance operations for facilities and sub-sea systems. More sophisticated systems could be used in the future for challenging applications like autonomous well intervention, pipe inspection, and deepwater maintenance and repair. Potential oil and gas applications for surveillance and inspection of facilities, subsea infrastructure and pipelines are illustrated.

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