Woodside to trial NASA’s Robonaut for work in dangerous environments

Australia’s largest independent oil and gas company Woodside has partnered with NASA to explore how the space agency’s robotic technology could be used to improve safety, reliability and efficiency in the high-risk and remote environments where it operates.

Woodside’s head of cognitive science and robotics Russell Potapinski, a Robonaut, and Robonaut Project Manager at NASA Julia Badger.
Image credit: www.woodside.com.au

Under the partnership, NASA will loan Woodside its dexterous humanoid robot (Robonaut) for a 60-month deployment in Perth where the company will research ways in which the robot could perform tasks from more than 300 ideas suggested by the company’s operators, engineers and maintenance workers.

Woodside’s Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Shaun Gregory said the partnership will see Woodside contribute its advanced cognitive science technology (which is being developed in its Western Australian operations), whereas NASA will share its expertise in Robonauts that are already being used for variety of tasks in places such as the International Space Station.

“This is a unique partnership for NASA and is an exciting opportunity to Accelerate Woodside’s innovative cognitive science program,” Mr Gregory added.

“This partnership fits well with our collaborative approach to innovation. We want the best thinkers from inside and outside our company to be working on solutions that unlock value in our operations. It also supports the Western Australian innovation agenda and will help our state realise its potential to be a global centre for scientific and technological excellence.”

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