Robotic Thermal Hazard Sensor

| Information and Communication Technology

Boston Dynamics autonomous robot combines with gas sensors for oil and gas industry inspections

FLIR has teamed up with MFE Inspection to use robot and UAV mounted thermal sensors for hazard detection in remote and difficult locations

Teledyne FLIR Defence has teamed with MFE Inspection Solutions to integrate the FLIR MUVE C360 multi-gas detector on Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot and commercial unmanned aerial systems (UAS). The integrated systems will enable remote monitoring of chemical threats in industrial and public safety applications.

The MUVE C360 detects and classifies airborne gas or chemical hazards, allowing industrial safety officers and inspection personnel to perform their job more safely and efficiently with integrated remote sensing capabilities from both the air and at ground level.

Sensor platforms

The MUVE C360 is compatible with common commercial UAS aircraft, which allow operators to fly the C360 into environments that would otherwise be difficult to access at surface level in order to perform hazard assessments in real time

The MUVE C360 is also designed to operate on the Boston Dynamics’ Spot mobile robot, which can autonomously inspect dangerous, inaccessible or remote environments. The famously agile dog-like robot was originally developed for defence applications with its ability to move across difficult and dangerous terrain autonomously. Its flexibility has resulted in many spin-off applications in industrial and commercial applications that require remote access without the need for human operators. It can be used with a wide variety of payloads, including sensors for detecting heat and chemicals as well as gases when used with the FLIR MUVE C360 multi-gas detector.

Drones are commonly and widely used in the oil and gas extraction industries due to the remoteness and inaccessibility of the facilities. Placing sensor payloads on unmanned aircraft is already and established practice and it’s a natural progression to use them for remote hazard detection purposes.

According to Dr David Cullin, vice president and general manager of Unmanned and Integrated Solutions at Teledyne FLIR Defence, by deploying a chemical detector on drones and ground robots, industrial managers can identify dangerous situations from a safe distance, keeping operators out of harm’s way and speeding corrective measures.

“We’re pleased to be teaming with MFE to provide innovative technology products like MUVE C360 that put distance between good people and bad things,” he says.

Jason Acerbi, general manager at MFE Inspection Solutions believes that being able to make use of the FLIR MUVE C360 on the Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot and commonly used UAS systems for inspection make this payload one of the most versatile sensors available for the toolbox of inspectors and monitoring engineers.

“Whether during day-to-day checks or an emergency response event, our clients take air quality monitoring seriously, from ground level to the tallest assets inside an oil and gas facility,” he says.

MUVE C360 delivers continuous threat information in real-time and is fully integrated with commonly used enterprise UAS platforms, including the Teledyne FLIR SkyRanger which offers secure data communications for defence and homeland security applications as well as unmatched flight capabilities. In addition, Teledyne FLIR’s new MUVE C360 Partnership Programme offers potential partners the opportunity to become a certified C360 integrator.

Jonathan Newell
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