Autonomous detection of gas leaks and required maintenance of machine parts.

The problem

Robotic solutions for industrial applications aren’t new; it is growing by the day. What is new however, is the application of mobile robotics. More and more companies are starting to see the benefits of mobile robots to take over tasks from human employees. This is happening for industrial inspection too.

There are two main sources of damage at this moment, for which for a long time, there was no solution available. The first is the detection of gas, steam and compressed air leaks. And this problem is a significant one; with the natural gas and oil leaks, tens of billions of euros are lost every year. And an even bigger problem is the damage to the environment that this creates. At this moment, installations have to be manually inspected. This process takes a lot of resources and is a very time-consuming process.

The second problem is the machinery maintenance. Up-time is of crucial importance; therefore, a lot of industrial plants carry out preventive maintenance to their machinery. However, often the right data to execute the maintenance at the right time is missing. This leads to good parts being replaced whilst they could have lasted a while longer, and parts breaking down that aren’t replaced in time.


The solution

This is where Avular and Sorama step in; with Avular’s knowledge of mobile robots and Sorama’s expertise of sound cameras. From a joint vision of the problems described above, they have come together to come up with a solution. The solution is called MiCart.

MiCart is an autonomously driving robot with integrated cutting-edge sound camera systems and artificial intelligence. The robot can detect gas leaks and indicate the necessary maintenance of machines.

MiCart consists of two main parts:

  1. The autonomously driving vehicle, which must itself be able to follow a path based on certain localization systems and algorithms.

  2. The sound camera system, which must be able to provide for the detection and processing of gas leaks and machine maintenance.

The link between the two is just as important; after all, the location of measurements must be properly linked to the detection itself.


The final application

In the final application, MiCart will be able to navigate autonomously through a production hall or over a (petrochemical) plant. The robot will then regularly inspect the area and automatically generate a report with available leaks or required maintenance. Depending on the application, the number of robots and the size of the area to be inspected, the robot can also issue immediate warnings in the event of direct threats.



This project is part of the Metropool Regio Eindhoven subsidy fund.

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