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New snake-like robot unveiled to help clean tanks

CYC International, a Singapore-based engineering and maintenance firm, has invented a snake-like cleaning robot to help reduce safety hazards faced by workers who manually clean oil tanks in refineries.

In addition to mitigating health hazards, the robot has helped reduce the time and personnel required to completely clean an aboveground storage tank by as much as 70%, according to the Straits Times.

Previously, eight workers needed 11 days to clean one tank, which measured around 18m tall and 70m wide. With the robot, it takes four workers six days to complete the same task, according to CYC. The other workers are redeployed.

“We’ve created a lot of policies and procedures just to make sure people go back home safe and sound,” said Dan Chua, CYC International director. For its innovative idea, the firm won an award at the annual Singapore-based Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Awards.