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The use of robotics in the oil and gas industry is becoming a hot topic. This paper reports on the progress and challenges of a project, to develop a robot snake. It comprises of a manoeuvrable optical system, which can monitor the internal operation of processing systems while the plant is operating. The small diameter snake provides a live video feed to provide real time operations troubleshooting and equipment inspection. It is designed for high pressure combustible gas systems and is anticipated that the robot will be able to safely access systems via existing tapping points and become a versatile tool to perform a number of tasks that currently require a plant shutdown. It will have the ability to investigate the internal condition of piping and pressure vessels. Additional tools will enable operators to troubleshoot operations problems such as foaming or fouling. The aim of the project is to: increase availability by reducing the need for inspection shutdowns; improve safety by reducing the need for confined space working; reduce shutdown durations as on-line diagnostics will help shutdown planning and logistics. An invitation to a demonstration day in 2020 will be offered to delegates.

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