Magneto: Tomorrow’s robotic technology – today
The problems surrounding dexterity and manoeuvrability of robots is a common reason that many asset owners are hesitant to take full advantage of technology. Many options have been explored, but even the most promising have generally remained firmly in the planning or prototype stages. That is, until now…
Enter Magneto – a dextrous, wholly manoeuvrable robotic entity that provides the scope to carry out many different tasks. This removes many of the traditional headaches surrounding the testing and maintenance of assets.
Magneto is a robot that, in the words of its creators, “Is a platform to get you where you want to be and, once there, to do what you want to do”.
Designed by Nexxis with their trademark global collaboration model, and in conjunction with CSRIO Data61, Magneto has been created to overcome many of the historical risks and expenses associated with NDT and maintenance.
- Dexterity and manoeuvrability
- Modular adaptability
- Rapid prototyping
- High payload
- Extending and futureproofing the data grab
Dexterity and manoeuvrability
Thanks to having four degrees of freedom, Magneto is able to traverse different landscapes and negotiate obstacles. Not only can it climb over things that block its path, such as a beam, but it can also transfer from one asset to another. This is achieved by the ability to move each of its four legs independently – giving a revolutionary ability to climb across to multiple assets as needed and continue with an inspection.
The scope for this is tremendous. Unlike crawler robots that are limited in where they can travel, Magneto removes the need to build another scaffold to enter a second (third, fourth…) asset or for a human to enter via a rope descent. The robot simply climbs over both internal asset furniture and/or into another asset and continues with its task.
Magneto is a platform created around modular adaptability. This makes for a robot that is bespoke to a user’s needs.
It boasts a unique plug-and-play design. If you need it to carry out NDT testing, then simply fit a probe to take the readings. Need visuals? Then Magneto will carry and use the necessary imaging equipment. Time to carry out maintenance, such as cleaning or blasting? Then brushes, hoses and the like are simply clipped in – and off it goes to do its job. It can also carry out coding campaigns and other common tasks that are required within assets for a host of different industries.
With most of the Magneto models, components are quickly created with 3D printing. This means rapid prototyping whereby a necessary design is created and can be printed overnight, ready for use the next day.
Thanks to this easy prototyping, Magneto is wholly customisable depending on the required application.
Drones and crawlers are typically hindered by having a low payload. The 400-500g of a drone or even a kilo or two that some crawlers can carry doesn’t make for a viable robotic option, such as painting, NDT or other maintenance.
Magneto, on the other hand, has a payload of anywhere between 10-40kg, depending on the surface of the asset and the diameter in which it has to work.
Extending and futureproofing the data grab
Another unique advantage of Magneto is that wherever it goes, it continues to take data. Without any human input, Magneto continually grabs data as it walks: spot readings, humidity readings, temperature readings… This data is then stored and, perhaps a year down the road, is waiting to be used. Data that you don’t even realise at the time will be needed in the future, and at a far greater depth and intricacy than can be achieved by a human carrying out a few intermittent spot readings.
The Magneto Roadmap
Magneto is ready to rock and roll. But the platform continues to be developed, with ambitious plans for the near-future. The following details the roadmaps for all the versions of Magneto, not only the current version that works with assets that have ferrometal surfaces.
At present, Magneto traverses the surface using a gimbled foot with electromagnets beneath. This keeps it firmly grounded to the surface, even if a power cut takes place. Nexxis is currently working on suction pads to allow Magneto to be used on non-ferrous metal surfaces. This will make it suitable for use on assets made from other materials, such as glass, concrete, stainless steel etc.
The rollout of an Ex rated Magneto is an important element of the roadmap – one that will be especially advantageous within the oil & gas industry. Incorporating global autonomy, as well as local, is a further feature that will be introduced across the whole Magneto range.
Magneto is the brainchild of Nexxis – the Perth-based, solution-focused equipment provider specialising in NDT and maintenance equipment and that exploded onto the scene in 2014. Thanks to a unique procurement model that sees their industry experts take an organisation’s needs and create a bespoke plan to service equipment needs, they’ve become the provider of choice for many within industries as diverse as subsea, nuclear, mining, oil & gas, infrastructure and more.
Technology is moving at breakneck speed. The cutting edge solutions of today are what gives a business the much needed advantages over its competitors.