Has there ever been a better time for industrial robots? Well, let’s see. There are more companies thinking more creatively and introducing more new models that perform more tasks than ever before, so … no. This is pretty much the golden age.
Deep in the heart of Texas, Nabors Industries Ltd. is learning more every day about the largest robot you might ever see.
Nabors is a land drilling contractor, at the top of that industry’s pecking order with more than 200 rigs currently at work around the globe. They dig deep, they dig out, they dig around the clock, and they dig so much that their tech leaders are always looking for something new. They found their latest something new — the Robotic Pipe Handler RPH-3500 from Robotic Drilling Systems — just a little off the beaten path … in Norway.
The RPH-3500 is fully electric, constructed on nine axes, and designed for pipe and casing. It can haul more than 7,700 pounds on each pipe handler boom. Inside a single five-minute stretch, Scott Boone, VP of drilling automation and downhole tools for Nabors and a 34-year industry veteran not prone to hyperbole, described it as “very advanced,” “amazing,” “beautiful,” “phenomenal” and “probably the world’s largest robot.” That last superlative is most definitely warranted. The robot stands more than 70 feet tall, its arm sliding autonomously just about the whole way.