B Robotics W


BQ Genesis Automated Hydraulic Drilling Rig

BQ Genesis Rig

The fully automated, hands-free, BQ 400 has 2200 hp and a static load capacity of 500 metric tons. It can drill to a depth of 8,500 meters (27,900 feet).

The BQ Genesis Automated Hydraulic Drilling Rig, developed by B Robotics W, is the world’s first hands-free, automated drilling rig.

It was engineered from the ground up to be the safest and most productive rig. Only six workers are required to operate the rig in a 24-hour period. Components were selected based on their high reliability and market availability. All key elements have backup systems to minimize work stoppages.

The rig operates efficiently from -50 degrees C to +65 degrees C (-58 degrees F to 149 degrees F). It is low maintenance, needs 40% fewer standardized trailers for transportation, is much quieter than a conventional rig, and consumes 30% less fuel.

The Genesis Rig can trip in and out, as well as drill to a defined depth, without the intervention of a driller or “hands-free.”  This means the driller, after setting the depth to drill and starting the hands-free drilling program, does not have to manipulate any controls thereafter.  The Genesis Rig will start/stop pumps, break and make connections, add tubulars when necessary, increase/decrease the top drive rpm, weight on the bit, etc.  If the rig stops for any reason, an alarm sounds, at which time the driller has to intervene.

Automation is more precise than humans and is not susceptible to fatigue.  The rig trips in and out at more than 1.5 meters/sec., compared to .5-.6 meters/sec. for a conventional rig.

The rig’s key patented automation systems are:

  • Automated Hydraulic Roughneck
  • Automated Slips
  • Automated Monkeyboard
  • Automated Layup & Down Machine
  • Automated Pipe Container
  • Automated Subs & Bits Loader
  • Automated Stabilizer Loader

The rig’s automation is engineered for simplicity and reliability. Each operation of a automated system is divided into separate steps that are executed by computer-controlled hydraulics. For example, the operation of the Automated Hydraulic Roughneck is split into the following movements:

  • Top and bottom clamps moved to well center and can be shifted higher/lower on a tubular to fit the tool joint connection.
  • The clamps tighten over the tubular tool joints.
  • The top clamp rotates to tighten/loosen the tubular.

In semi-automation mode, a driller turns a switch to complete each of the steps.  In full-automation mode, the steps are activated sequentially by a computer. CCTV monitors in the driller’s cabin allow the driller to closely view each step of the rig’s operation.  At any time, the driller can switch between full-automation mode and semi-automation mode. Semi-automation mode is also used for special tasks, such as when fishing for an object in the wellbore or when using certain tools attached to the top drive.

It is easy to learn how to operate the rig; drillers typically need only a week’s training.


Hydraulic Cylinders

One of the Genesis Rig’s key innovations is the replacement of a drawworks with up-facing, long-stroke, hydraulic cylinders, which are safer, more powerful, more dependable, and precise.  They will not overheat or burn out and operate in cold and hot climates.

The cylinders lift weight by pulling on the cylinder rod instead of pushing, thereby eliminating the dead-end load on the shaft. The rig can handle three range-3 or two range-2 drill pipes/drill collars.  The cylinders are activated by rugged gear pumps controlled by variable frequency drive (VFD) modules and electric motors, which alter the volume of oil delivery and top drive traveling speed.


Tubular Handling

The Automated Pipe Container (APC) facilitiates the transportation of drilling pipes, collars, and casing to a drill site and then, via automation, feeds the tubulars to the Automated Layup & Down Machine

The Automated Pipe Container (APC) facilitates the transportation of drilling pipes, collars, and casing to a drill site and then, via automation, feeds the tubulars to the Automated Layup & Down Machine (AL&DM). A single APC holds 104 5″ pipes. APCs are positioned in descending heights using an inclinable frame inside the containers, allowing tubulars to roll to/from the AL&DM. Up to seven APCs can be positioned on each side of the AL&DM.

Pipe handling is greatly facilitated by the Automated Pipe Container (APC) and Automated Layup & Down Machine (AL&DM).  Both are self unloading and have skidding systems that eliminate the need for a crane.

Tubulars are transported in a metal-framed APC to a drilling site by a trailer.  Once off-loaded and positioned, the APC automatically feeds drilling pipes, collars, and casings to the AL&DM.

Up to seven APCs can be placed on each side of the AL&DM. In a single flowing motion, the AL&DM lifts a tubular from ground level to the drilling floor.  A second motion pivots the tubular upward to a vertical position above the well center, under the top drive.  The top drive is slowly lowered, while rotating, to connect to the tubular.  It is then married up to a tool joint at the well center.  (The automation system eliminates making connections using a mouse hole.)


Reliability & Performance

Knowing that rig breakdowns can be costly, the Genesis Rig is constructed with components based on reliability, field tests, and market availability.

The rig uses gear pumps instead of variable delivery pumps, which are overly delicate and are prone to shut down when fluid gets dirty.  Gear pumps, in contrast, can operate with less than clean oil and can even function with water and additives.  They are mass produced and readily replaceable if necessary.


Automated Slips

The Automated Slips (AS) eliminate the manual handling of slips and slip inserts on the working floor. The AS has six outer elements and six inner elements. Each inner element has an insert holder with five inserts that rotate to position the properly-curved insert to grip tubulars. The AS automatically handles tubulars from 3 1/2″ to 20″ (the maximum passage is 23″), taking care of most of the drilling and casing running needed to complete a well. The slips are moved into position and released by hydraulic pressure. The AS holding capacity is 500 tons.


All key components of the Genesis Rig have backup systems to minimize work stoppages.  The BQ 500 Genesis Rig has:

  • 2 top drive motors
  • 4 hydraulic cylinders for lifting/lowering weight
  • 10 VFW units that operate independently
  • 2 control panels in the driller’s cabin (one as backup)
  • 2 sensors at all critical locations (one as backup)
  • 2 CPU units on the monkeyboard, tuburlar handing, and working floor panel controls (one each as backuup)
  • 2 spare hydraulic pumps (attached to the hydraulic power pack units)
  • 2 hydraulic power pack units that are interchangable with 10 hydraulic pumps.


All Weather

The rig’s automation eliminates workers on the drilling floor and monkeyboard.  A driller in the climate-controlled driller’s cabin can trip, change bits and stabilizers, etc. without additional assistance. Cold water from chillers prevent the explosion-proof, electric motors on the top drive from lowing power due to overheating in hot climates.  And heated water is pumped through the system to allow the rig to operate in extreme cold temperatures.


  • Only six workers are needed to operate the Genesis Rig in a 24-hour period.
  • 40% fewer standard trailers are required for transportation; no oversize vehicle or special permissions are needed  (the Genesis 350 ton capacity rig is transported in just 26 loads.)
  • Does not require a rat hole or mouse hole.
  • Entire assembly is completed with workers positioned below 6 feet (1.8 meters) from the ground.
  • Without a drawworks, the rig operates at 50 decibels – much quieter than a conventional rig.
  • Its subbase and handling area are smaller than a conventional rig, reducing the environmental impact and costs.
  • It has a shorter mast because of its hydraulic cylinders, which have a fixed stroke compared to a drawworks traveling block that needs an extra mast length for safety.
  • The rig does not have an electronic break and slows a string by sending oil back to the gear pumps.  The pumps spin backwards and produce electric power (the rig consumes 30% less fuel than a conventional rig.)
  • The top drive has 2 explosion-proof, water-cooled, electric motors that produce high torque at low and high speeds.  It has a splash lubricating system as well as a dedicated hydraulic pump to ensure sufficient lubrication in extreme temperatures.
  • The rig’s four pulling cables are rated at 15,000 hours (2 cables can hold the entire hook load capacity).  By comparison, a drawworks has a single cable that must be replaced annually.
  • In the unlikely event of a catastrophic cable failure, a patented braking system automatically locks the top drive to the mast guides to prevent it from falling.
  • The rig’s electronic systems can be accessed via an internet connection to remotely reprogram elements and troubleshoot problems.
  • The rig has a 360 degree skidding system.
  • All hydraulic, electrical, pneumatic and fluid (diesel fuel) lines are pre-assembled or secgreated inside cable trays or integrated into swing arms or suit cases for quick connection and disassembly.
  • Double mast Genesis Rigs (400, 500, and 700 ton) can drill two wells at the same time from the same path.
  • Rig can drill vertical, deviated, and slant drill with the mast inclined.


Apache Corp. Gives Genesis Rig/B Robotics W Top Marks

Apache Corp. conducted a worldwide survey to assess the newest and most advanced rig technologies.  It rated the Genesis Rig/B Robotics W at the top of 400 innovative rig and equipment producers globally.

“The hands-free design that facilitates the critical functions of faster, more efficient tripping and pipe handling by taking people out of harm’s way make this a small, intelligent rig that is energy-efficient and quieter,” said Lance Spencer, Senior Drilling Adviser, Worldwide Drilling Group, for Apache.


B Robotics W

B Robotics W designs and manufactures oil and gas drilling rigs (mechanical and hydraulic), as well as reconditions and services rigs worldwide.

The company, located near Piacenza, Italy, was founded in 1992 by Walter Bagassi, whose family has been involved in oil drilling for three generations. After earning a degree in aeronautical engineering, Mr. Bagassi worked as a logging engineer at Gearhart-Owen for 16 years, traveling extensively and contributing to the development of the Gearhart WMD system in 1979.  Mr. Bagassi returned to Italy in 1986 to work as a rig designer and commercial director for a rig manufacturer.  Six years later he founded his own company.

B Robotics W has a field-based understanding and appreciation of drilling equipment, having constructed and reconditioned complete rigs for more than two decades.  Its engineers take pride in their design of equipment to ensure the highest level of safety, performance, durability, and have an appreciation of long distances that often exist between drilling fields and technical support.


Contact Information

B Robotics W Via Boscarella, 60 29010 Besenzone, Italy (tel) 39-0523-832185 – Italy (tel) 207-333-1557 – United States www.bwrobotics.com