The Zurich-based start-up ANYbotics has developed a four-legged robot in the form of the ANYmal that can see, hear and move around in challenging environments. In this way, the robot solution can be used to inspect and monitor industrial plants and sewer systems in addition to taking on dangerous maintenance tasks.
At the moment, the robot is being tested by the German chemicals group BASF, among others, details of which can be found in a press release. ANYmal is being used for various inspection tasks at the processing plants at the BASF headquarters in Ludwigshafen. For example, the robot solution is able to read measuring devices and take acoustic measurements of pumps and compressors, as well as using its integrated thermal imaging camera to locate hotspots in its environment.
The use of robots can help to improve data collection processes, explains Felix Volkmann from BASF in the press release. In addition, automation can play a role in optimising human resource allocation. According to the press release, BASF intends to evaluate further applications for ANYmal in connection with plant inspections.
ANYbotics was founded in 2016 as a spin-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH). At the end of December, the company raised 20 million Swiss francs in fresh funding after closing a successful financing round. Over the past four years, it has focused on bringing its robots from the lab to real world settings. The large-scale deployment of ANYmal should now be accelerated using the fresh capital injection. The project being carried out in conjunction with BASF is also contributing to this.