SR-3 & Side Launcher

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SR-3: Next Generation Robot

The development of SR-3 follows the success of SR-1, Square Robot's first generation robot currently inspecting Aboveground Storage Tanks (ASTs) containing high flashpoint products, in accordance with API 653.  SR-3 is designed to be used with the Side Launcher system to enter and inspect ASTs containing low-flashpoint products such as gasoline and ethanol as well as internal floating roof tanks.

Side Launcher Robot Deployment

The side launcher is designed to launch and recover the SR-3 robot from an AST's shell manway.  The Side Launcher enables operations to completely immerse the SR-3 robot in the tank product before being launched into the tank, avoiding the transit of the SR-3 robot through the vapor space.

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Week 14

March 20- 24

This week, we have begun system-level, in-water testing of SR-3. Our big focus this week is on tuning our dynamic control system. At the same time, we will also be collecting data on sensor and thruster performance, and working on identifying and resolving any issues that arise that may affect robot reliability.

Week 13

March 13 - 17

Hull 301 has arrived in Houston.  Final preparations are underway to safely launch the robot into our tank and begin in-water testing with the side launcher.

Week 12

March 6 - 10

Hull 301 has been packed up and is on its way down to Houston for testing with the side launcher system in our test tank.

Week 12

March 6 - 10

Hull 301 has passed in-water Built-in-Tests (BITs) and is ready to move to the next phase of development; testing with our side launcher system in a water tank.

Week 11

February 27 - March 1

Requirements verification testing continues this week on the side launcher, including characterizing the time to purge the system with an inert gas.  This purge time sets the minimum required duration of a system purge, ensuring that the oxygen concentration inside of the side launcher is below 2%.

Week 10

February 20 - 24

Built-in-Tests (BITs) are being tested and validated on Hull 301 this week. In this video, you can see the thruster BIT verifying proper function of all eight thrusters. Before operations approves a robot for launch into a tank, all BITs must pass.

Week 10

February 20 - 24

Requirements verification testing has begun on the side launcher.  So far, we have successfully completed a hydrotest of the system at 225 psi and have characterized the time to purge the side launcher with an inert gas. We go through meticulous testing of every piece of our equipment to maintain the highest safety standards.

Week 9

February 13 - 17

Our team has successfully attached the manway adaptor and vehicle chamber to our test tank. This is another major milestone in the assembly of the side launcher system, as we prepare for testing in the upcoming weeks.

Week 8

February 6 - 10

Our side launcher vehicle chambers have arrived in Houston!  We will be receiving the remaining parts to complete the side launcher assembly later this week.  Final assembly and installation on our tank shell manway will follow shortly after.

Week 7

January 30 - February 3

Hull 301 is complete!  This week, we finished the main assembly for our first SR-3 robot.  This robot is now ready for final software integration testing before it hits the water for a complete functional shakedown.

Week 6

January 23 - 27

We just received a fantastic progress update on the side launcher vehicle chambers!  Both vehicle chambers have been completed and have passed hydrotesting (pressure testing).  They are now being sent off to the painters for the final touch!

Week 5

January 16 - 20

We have lights!  Our first power up of Hull 301’s internal electronics went off without a hitch.  We will complete checkouts on all of our subsystems prior to performing cable management and sealing the vehicle control housing.

Week 5

January 16 - 20

This week, we received the last few parts needed to complete the Hull 301 build.  This includes our wet cables, which are designed for continuous submergence in gasoline and are open-faced, hermetically sealed.  These wet cables are beasts.

Week 4

January 9 - 13

Welding has begun on the side launcher vehicle chambers.  

Week 4

January 9 - 13

This week, we have begun installing the electronics housed within the vehicle control housing.  Our electronics are mounted to optimize heat transfer away from hot components, sinking to the vehicle control housing.  This keeps our temperatures under control and allows us to operate in hotter environments.

Week 3

January 2 - 6, 2023

This week, we installed our thruster and payload subassemblies onto Hull 301’s external frame.  We also completed an inspection of our vehicle control housing to make sure everything will go together smoothly.

Week 2

December 26 - 30, 2022

Side Launcher vehicle chambers are officially in production. Pictured are the bases of each vehicle chamber, designed to facilitate the alignment of the side launcher to the tank shell manway using integrated jacks.  The base also has forklift pockets to help make ground transport of the system easier.

Week 2

December 26 - 30, 2022

Hull 301’s vehicle control housing has arrived!  We have designed SR-3’s pressure vessel to house all of our electronics, provide wet cables interfaces for all of our external sensors, and operate in tanks with product levels up to 90 ft high.

Week 1

December 19 - 23

Our first robot kit is ready to be built!  Hull 301’s build has begun!

Hull 301 is Square Robot’s first SR-3 robot.  As an initial build, we are focused on more than assembling this robot, capturing redlines and refining our process instructions as we progress.

Hull 301’s build has kicked off with the assembly of its external frame.