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In 2014, TOTAL and ANR organized an autonomous robot contest: ARGOS CHALLENGE.
This challenge is about 2 years and includes three competitions.

The purpose is to develop a diagnostic robot, ATEX and autonomous.
It must be able to evolve in complex environments such as offshore platforms.


In September 2014, SOMINEX and IRSEEM (the ESIGELEC research laboratory) decided to participate together.

It is the birth of the VIKING team, a 100% Norman team.

Among 35 requests considered by the organizers, 5 were selected, including VIKING team!

The other teams selected came from Germany/Austria, Spain/Portugal, Japan and Switzerland.

In June 2015, the VIKING won the first competition.

Unlike other teams that already had a robot platform, the SOMINEX design team started from scratch.

We designed and built a tough and efficient robot.

With our partner IRSEEM, we were able to meet all the requirements of TOTAL.

The design of this robot highlights the skills of SOMINEX: mechanical design, innovative assemblies by FSW, calculations and ATEX certification management.

Our collaboration with IRSEEM allowed us to win this first step, due to a good understanding and great complementarities.

IRSEEM is in charge of the algorithms to localize the robot on the competition site, navigation management with the image analyzing of customers sensors.

SOMINEX is in charge of the mechanical design of the robot, like motorisation, flippers and an innovative telescopic mast.

We also have to manage integration of the different sensors and design special patterns for the caterpillars.

The flippers allow the robot to overcome an obstacle or a step up to 20cm, the mast can raise the camera at 180cm from ground.

This contest is a great opportunity to show our technical know-how but also our ability to work in partnership with a research laboratory such as IRSEEM.
We won the first competition thanks to the motivation of our teams; this bodes well for the future!

Jean-Jacques Benoît