World-First Tank Inspection Robot Helping Cut Costs and Enhance Safety

(Image credit: Square Robot)

Square Robot are pleased to announce the successful outcome of a Joint Development Program with ExxonMobil to design, build and deploy a submersible autonomous robot capable of entering above ground storage tanks through a side entry “launcher” to inspect the internal surfaces of the tank while the tank remains in service. 

A key feature of the robot and application is the ability to safely enter more volatile liquids, such as gasoline, stored in tanks with an internal floating roof.

The final phase of the development program was executed in the final week of June when a robot was deployed into a 140’ diameter above ground storage tank containing 150,000 BBLS of gasoline at ExxonMobil’s Baton Rouge facility. Representatives from both companies witnessed the successful deployment, survey and recovery of the robot in full compliance with the original design objectives.

This groundbreaking service is a world first, offering significant environmental, health and safety benefits.  The service eliminates the release of hydrocarbon vapor and waste associated with taking a tank out of service. It reduces personnel risk by avoiding confined space entries.  Additionally, with the tank remaining in service and operational, the total cost associated with traditional inspection services is dramatically reduced, adding value to tank owners all while arming them with a comprehensive data set regarding the state of their asset so that more informed decisions can be made as part of their integrity program.

Tim Westhoven, ExxonMobil Technology Scouting & Ventures Senior Advisor, and David Lamont, Square Robot President & CEO, remarked on this achievement.

“This is another example of how ExxonMobil is innovating to meet our environmental, safety and cost reduction commitments. We are happy to work with innovative companies like Square Robot to deliver solutions that make our operations safer, more efficient and reduce environmental impacts.” – Tim Westhoven, ExxonMobil

“Working with ExxonMobil on this joint project has been a very rewarding experience for Square Robot.  The results speak for themselves.  I believe ExxonMobil has brought out the best in Square Robot and leveraged our ability to quickly develop world leading technology capable of having a major impact at a company of ExxonMobil’s scale, with no compromise.  We are very thankful to ExxonMobil for being such a wonderfully progressive partner.” – David Lamont, Square Robot


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