Robot Tech Addresses Workforce Safety and Labor Shortages in Heavy Industry
With an aging workforce, and ongoing labor shortages, many heavy industries like oil & gas, chemicals, power, mining, metals & minerals and utilities are turning to robotics to help fill the gap.
As the technology matures, robotics are emerging as an augmentation, or even a viable alternative, to human labor, particularly in challenging or hazardous work environments where worker safety could be a concern.
This week, ANYbotics, a Swiss robotics developer, announced their $50 million Series B funding round led by deep tech investors Walden Catalyst and NGP Capital, with participation from a range of other new and existing investors.
ANYbotics is the developer of ANYmal, a highly mobile and ruggedized robotics platform designed to meet the needs of a range of heavy industrial applications. According to the company, their platform has already been adopted by several key industrial players to include PETRONAS, Shell, SLB, Outokumpu, Siemens Energy, BASF and Vale, with $150M in back orders for their pending explosion resistant ANYmal X variant.
ANYmal solution for robotic inspection, image courtesy of ANYbotics
An Ideal Solution for Industrial Inspection
One key application for ANYmal is industrial inspection. The platform has the ability to collect and report visual, thermographic, and vibration analysis, reporting key insights on the operating health of plant and equipment. Inspection points can be pre-defined and the sensor payload and software can be customized to the needs of the specific application - utilities, power plants, oil & gas production, chemical plants etc.
ANYmal industrial inspection for utilities & power plants, image courtesy of ANYbotics
ANYmal does not require extensive training to get started, and can use its sensor payload, combined with AI capabilities, to "educate itself" on its industrial surroundings. ANYmal is waterproof and weatherproof, so ideal for applications in harsh weather environments, or environments subject to harmful toxins, lack of oxygen or even radiation. And the robot can continue to operate 24/7!
ANYmal is designed to be highly mobile, image courtesy of ANYbotics
The ANYrobotics team works closely with prospective customers to assess the technical feasibility of ANYmal for a prospective application, determine the operational impact and potential ROI, and design a rollout plan if a project makes sense.
The new funding will be used by ANYrobotics to scale its sales, delivery and support services globally.
The company cites close ties with leading robotics institutions like ETH Zurich, University of Oxford and NVIDIA as a main contributor to its ability to innovate and commercialize its robotics technology.