BEIJING — ANYbotics AG today unveiled its ANYmal C autonomous legged robot at the World Robot Conference here. The robot is optimized with a wide range of sensors to provide high availability, safety, and reliability for routine automated industrial inspections, said the Swiss company.
ANYbotics was founded in 2016 as a spin-off from ETH Zurich to lead the way in developing mobile robotics for industrial applications. The company said its autonomous legged robots are designed solve customer problems in challenging environments so far only accessible to humans — and beyond. ANYbotics has 35 employees and has successfully tested ANYmal in various applications such as the world’s first deployment on an offshore plant in the North Sea.
ANYmal C takes the next step
ANYbotics said its team, which has been building legged robots for more than 10 years, developed the ANYmal C from the feet up based on industry requirements. At the core, powerful torque-controllable actuators have been designed to carry the next-generation robot over steep stairs and to reliably take the strain of over a million cycles, said the company.
Lidar and depth cameras provide a 360-degree, high-precision view of the robot’s environment, stated ANYbotics. Teleoperation is simplified by integrated wide-angle cameras and an industrial-grade remote control.
Intel i7 Hexa-core processors deliver the computation power for advanced locomotion control, real-time mapping, autonomous navigation, and on-board custom applications. These features are enclosed in a user-friendly, ruggedized, and fully waterproof and dustproof IP67 design, said ANYbotics.
ANYmal C carries up to 10kg (22 lb.) in payload. After two hours of operations on a single battery charge, the robot autonomously connects to a docking station for recharging.
Industrial inspection with mobile robots
“Autonomous mobile robots will revolutionize industrial inspection,” asserted ANYbotics. “Executing pre-defined missions, autonomous systems can safely and reliably navigate through industrial plants and carry sensors to collect and interpret equipment and environment data.”
To navigate the complex infrastructure of industrial plants, ANYbotics’ quadruped robot can move on steps and stairs without the need for any adaptations to a facility. Carrying a variety of sensors such as visual and thermal cameras, lidar, microphones, and gas detection sensors, ANYmal can perceive and interpret a broad range of physical properties. The system can evaluate instruments, check for the status of objects, detect hotspots, and sense gases — even in situations that are threatening to human inspectors.
Awaited by industry
The energy, oil and gas, processing, and many other industries have been eagerly awaiting mobile robots to improve safety and efficiency in their operations, said ANYbotics. Due to their high complexity, industrial plants are difficult to operate without failures, and due to high downtime costs, plant operators are very keen to avoid interruptions.
To prevent equipment from failing, plants need to be monitored and inspected regularly, but manual data collection by human inspectors is a tedious and error-prone task in a potentially dangerous environment. Even if parts of the equipment are sensorized, defects such as leakages, rust, hotspots, or missing equipment are challenging to detect. For this reason, autonomous mobile robots will fundamentally change the inspection strategy of operators and allow for optimized plant architectures in the future, ANYbotics said.
The Robot Report has launched the Healthcare Robotics Engineering Forum, which will be on Dec. 9-10 in Santa Clara, Calif. The conference and expo focuses on improving the design, development and manufacture of next-generation healthcare robots. Learn more about the Healthcare Robotics Engineering Forum.
ANYmal C ready to inspect
To explore the potential of autonomous robotic inspection, ANYbotic said it provides test installations and pilot projects worldwide to prepare for completely unsupervised installations in the future.
ANYmal C is available for sale to development customers, engineering partners, and universities including a complete software and simulation environment. ANYbotics said that the first ANYmal C robots will be ready for shipment before the end of the year.