Robotics research lead by BISG reaches out for new hights

University of Oulu is leading the research aiming to robotic solutions for safer and more cost-effective measurements of difficult-to-reach industrial sites. Nearly four million Euro has been allocated to this project under the EU's Horizon 2020 Framework Program. The University of Oulu Biomemetics and Intelligent Systems Research Unit BISG under Professor Juha Röning coordinates co-operation. The eight-partner consortium representing five European countries will meet for the first time in Oulu on January 10-11, 2018.

The four-year HYFLIERS (HYbrid FLying-rollIng with-snakE-aRM robot for contact inspection) project will innovate advanced robots and deploy them in industrial plants.

The goal is to develop the world's first industrial integrated robot with hybrid air-ground-mobility and a long-reach hyper-redundant manipulator for sites with potentially dangerous working conditions to human inspectors.

Top European partners

In addition to Finland, the consortium has partners from Spain, Italy, France and Switzerland including reputed universities, research and industrial facilities and two world leader oil and gas industrial companies. Of the EUR 3,9 M project budget, the University of Oulu accounts for nearly 800,000 euros.

"HYFLIERS raises the already strong profile of the University of Oulu in the field of robotics. It brings together top-experts in the respective areas of the targeted system. Such a strong consortium will create innovation with remarkable societal and business impact, which gives the opportunity to present its expertise to the world," evaluates responsible leader of the project professor Juha Röning.

Safety and economic benefits in sight

In the project, robotics are applied in industrial sites in oil and gas production plants for ultrasonic pipe inspection, that ensure that plants are in safe operating condition or provides alerts to execute necessary corrective actions. Personnel traditionally executes these measurements of which up to 90% are carried out by working at elevated locations with the use of ladders, scaffold, rope access or cranes, and sometimes in presence of high temperatures or toxic materials. However, not only in oil and gas industry are there safety, quality and cost drivers for novel inspection methods. The results achieved in HYFLIERS project can be utilized more widely in many other industrial inspection techniques that help minimize industrial safety and environmental risks and increase cost-effectiveness.

"Developed technologies will be demonstrated at the last stage of the project. Perhaps a few years later, the achievements of the HYFLIERS project will end up in commercial products. That way the project can have an impact on both reduction of risks for human operators and increase of the cost-efficiency as well as keeping the plants safe and the environment clean,” anticipates Dr Ulrico Celentano, who is responsible for the technical coordination of the project.

Last updated: 8.4.2021