Handling tools have been improved and adapted, wherever possible, to aid remote automation on today's drilling rigs. Work that was done manually using elevators, spinning chains, tongs and brute force is now managed by using remotely controlled machines.

The application of automation to improve the performance of drilling rigs has captured the attention of the drilling industry for years. Numerous rig designs have been tried with relatively few success stories. The history of drilling automation can be paralleled to the development of Pipe Handling Systems on the drilling rig floor.

This paper offers examples to support the theory that there are four critical developments required to achieve automation on the drill floor.

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