March 2015 - n°8

The ARGOS Challenge, a new step forward for the Vikings robot

IRSEEM has welcomed a new device onto its Autonomous Navigation platform, representing a part of an offshore oil rig. This structure brings a real test and simulation structure to the VIKINGS* project, in preparation for its participation in the first ARGOS Challenge competition in the last week of June.

The VIKINGS project has taken on a new dimension, with its two-storey platform representing a sub-section of the test plant (UMAD), the structure on which the competitions in the town of Lacq in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques region will take place. This structure aims to help the IRSEEM team to prepare in the best possible conditions for the first test of the ARGOS Challenge organised by Total in partnership with the Agence Nationale de la Recherche. The aim of the ARGOS Challenge is to design the next generation of autonomous robots, able to carry out technical surveillance on an onshore and offshore oil and gas platform and to work in emergency situations in the most extreme conditions.

IRSEEM, ESIGELEC’s research institute, and SOMINEX, a small business based in Bayeux specialised in the high technology sector, are making an intelligent robot that can not only move around independently, but also climb stairs, read gauges, transmit information by wifi and send out an alert in the event of problems. SOMINEX has worked on the mechanical construction of the prototype, while the IRSEEM team has added its electronic system.

The structure, which will also incorporate the reproduction of the oil platform with gauges, valves and oil drums inside it, will test localisation algorithms, control of movement from A to B and perception. The team will be able to prepare for the onsite week of tests, which will take place in April in Lacq. A demonstration day is also planned on ESIGELEC premises, in the Autonomous Navigation platform, for a rehearsal, with the first official competition in June.

* Une équipe de recherche finaliste du concours ARGOS