Robot BRUCIE goes deep down under

Not the Gaelic hero who united his fellow Scots, nor the big-chinned king of entertainment, but a robot designed to pinpoint any changes in the wall thickness of underwater pipes on offshore oil and gas platforms.

BRUCIE (Big Robotic Ultrasonic Caisson Inspection Equipment) was developed by AEA Technology, PDNT and Ocean Industries, and has carried out successful inspections of piping 12m below the surface at the Goodwyn Alpha gas production platform 135 km off the west coast of Australia without the need for a support vessel. The robot was designed to be robust enough to shin down pipes in rough seas, negotiate protruding bolts, as well as make use of ultrasonic techniques in order to detect changes in the thickness of the pipes.

The BRUCIE robot itself is deployed directly from the platform without the need for a support vessel, and thus dispenses with the need for divers to brave the dangerous conditions around the platform. It could now be used on oil and gas platforms around the world.