Inspection robots in harsh environments

ExRobotics, the global market leader in autonomous inspection robots within extreme conditions, wants to further develop current robots with 5G technology. In this project, ExRobotics will use DoIoT Fieldlab’s 5G facilities to develop a design and first prototype of a 5G-enabled inspection robot. In addition, the most stringent safety certification is being prepared. 


From April to November 2022

Partners (TU Delft)

Do IoT Fieldlab, TU DelftThe Green Village

Partners (other)

ExRoboticsTNOFMI ImProvia GroupMCS

The robots developed by the Delft-based company ExRobotics currently are mainly being used in the petrochemical industry. This research focuses on the further development of a robot that is suitable for explosive and toxic environments. Think of circumstances with potential volatile substances, such as during the production of fuel or chemicals. The gained knowledge and experience can be used for the future development of other robots in the manufacturing industry.

The aim of this project is to design and build a robot enclosure with a 5G modem and to subsequently make it ready for certification – for the first time in the world. The high ambition for this safety certificate is to comply with the strictest requirements for use in extreme environments: ATEX (Europe), IECEx (International) and CSA (North America).

The research focuses on answering two questions:

  1. Which technical solutions can withstand these extreme conditions?
  2. Can these solutions be certified in the applicable safety standards, so that they may actually be used?

ExRobotics’ robots are capable of navigating independently and can perform many different measurements by using sensors. They offer experts the possibility to remotely keep watch. Such robots are used to make the production process safer, more efficient and more continuous.

The technical characteristics of 4G technology do not suffice to quickly process the large amount of data and due to the stringent safety requirements. Testing with Do IoT Fieldlab’s 5G facilities offers the opportunity to lay a solid foundation for communication between robot, data processing environment and control room.

This project is enabled by the SMITZH programme (Smart Manufacturing Industrial Application in the West of the Netherlands).

Watch the video on Exrobotics’ experiences experimenting with 5G-technology.