Robotic drilling is defined as an automation system developed for drilling operations in the oil & gas industry. Robotic drilling offers benefits to the oil & gas industry such as less drilling times, safer operations, multi-sensor measurements, mass production, high drilling capacity, and more predictability than human driven rigs. Robotic drilling companies possess the expertise for building robotic hardware and software to program and control the robots on oil & gas rigs. Robotic drilling is the best alternative to manual drilling.
Based on end-use industry, the robotic drilling market can be segmented into onshore and offshore industry. Onshore industry is a key end-user industry because installation of drill floor automation in onshore rigs is less complex. Moreover, offshore rigs require large capital investments and operate in dynamic and harsh environments. In terms of installation, the robotic drilling market can be classified into new builds and retrofits. The retrofit segment is expected to account for significant market share due to increase in demand for safety requirements, efficiency of the existing rigs, and focus on low human intervention during drilling. Based on type, the robotic drilling market can be divided into hardware and software. The software segment is estimated to hold a dominant share of the robotic drilling market.
Current developments in robotic drilling include the hydraulic arm that removes drill-pipe from setback to well center and thereby reduces human involvement and saves time. Another trend observed in the robotic drilling markets is designing multi-stack robots and pipe handling robots. Multi-stack robots reduce the involvement of humans as well as enhance efficiency. Pipe-handling robots are capable of picking up a pipe from the horizontal position, bring to vertical position, building and moving stands, handling multiple sizes, and changing all the tools for operating various functions within the boundaries set by the existing drilling structure.