IIT Guwahati incubated startup Beta Tank Robotics (BetaTANK) has introduced innovative robotic solutions to revolutionize the maintenance and cleaning of petroleum tanks. These robots eliminate manual labor and focus on cleaning crude oil tank sludge by sweeping and pumping it outside.
The developed robotic system can enter the tanks, extend its arms and efficiently clean as well as strip them. It streamlines the gas freeing process while maintaining safety and speed. BetaTANK founder, Captain D. Chandrasekhar, highlighted the compact design of the robot having low height for navigating under heating coils and unique ability to move thick sludge over long distances using an onboard pump.
Chandrasekhar shared the inspirational journey behind these pioneering robots and revealed his vision began in 1995 during his time as a ship’s officer overseeing tank operations. He believed in the potential of a robotic solution in such environments and his dream became a reality almost three decades later in 2019. BetaTANK secured funding under the flagship program “Startup Nurturing, Enabling and Handholding (SNEH)” from OIL India Limited.
The introduction of the robotic solution represents a significant leap forward for the oil and natural gas industry. It offers a safer and more efficient alternative to human entry into petroleum tanks, which has long been associated with substantial risks and potential liabilities for major oil corporations. Professor Uday Shanker Dixit, a mentor of BetaTank and part of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at IIT Guwahati, highlighted the transformative impact of these robots, relieving human operators from the dull, dirty and dangerous tasks of tank oil cleaning.
Although initially designed for the oil sector, the technology holds the potential for versatility with slight adjustments. It can be customized to address the cleaning needs of chemical tanks, sewage treatment facilities, food processing tanks and other diverse applications.