In-service intrusive Non-Destructive Testing of above ground and underground petrochemical storage tank floors and walls to detect corrosion

Website: http://www.tankrob.eu/


It is estimated that 20% of storage tank accidents are caused by cracks or raptures on the tank structure. The majority of the bulk liquids stored in these tanks include crude oil and derived products which are extremely hazardous to the environment, for example, a spill of only one gallon of oil can contaminate a million gallons of water.

On the other hand, such storage tank NDT inspection process is very costly, long cycle, and harmful for both environment and human inspectors. Currently, there is no inspection solution allowing for low-cost and 100% surface tank inspection.

The above described circumstances combined with the rapid advancement of robotic technology in the last years give rise to a unique opportunity; that of eliminating the need for human entry in tanks during inspection thereby significantly reducing the downtime-related costs to the end-users and eliminating the threats to human health.

Project Objective

The projects goal is to capitalise on previous outstanding work and commercialise TankRob, a highly innovative robotic crawler that is capable of semi-autonomously inspecting storage tank steel plates using ultrasound technology.

A prototype of the system has already been built and tested and it has shown tremendous potential to meet the need for in-service steel tank inspection.

The primary target customers for this system will be large storage tank operators and SME NDT service providers initially in European, Asian and Middle-eastern markets.


  • Significant Operation and Maintenance (O&M) cost reduction for asset owners.
  • 100 % cost inspection coverage provides operators with detailed structural integrity information, thereby increasing tank safety, reducing the risk of tank failures.

TankRob is a result of a research project funded by the European Commission Research Programme under grant no. 701007.