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Drillbotics competition spotlights student-led innovations in automated drilling systems

The annual Drillbotics contest involves teams of university students from around the world designing and building small drilling rigs that use sensors and control algorithms to autonomously drill a rock sample. The competition offers teams a choice between building a small-scale physical rig or a virtual model, with winners of each group presenting a paper at the IADC/SPE International Drilling Conference. In this video from the 2024 conference on 5 March in Galveston, Texas, Fred Florence, President of Rig Operations and Co-Founder of Drillbotics, explains how the competition fosters a pipeline of young talent for the drilling industry.

The video also includes interviews with students who participated in two of the winning teams from the 2023 competition – Muhammad Suleman, a master’s graduate in Drilling and Well Engineering at the University of Stavanger; and Charalampos Soilemezidis, Research Associate at the Clausthal University of Technology. One team built a system that was able to remotely control a simulated kick on a virtual rig, while another team designed and built a remotely operated RSS tool to steer the bottomhole assembly using a virtual rig.


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