Robotics Systems Engineer at NOV (Houston, TX)

| Houston, TX
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National Oilwell Varco (NOV) is a leading provider of technology, equipment, and services to the global oil and gas industry that supports customers' full-field drilling, completion, and production needs. Since 1862, NOV has pioneered innovations that improve the cost-effectiveness, efficiency, safety, and environmental impact of oil and gas operations.

NOV Rig Technologies makes and supports the world's most advanced drilling solutions. With a long history of manufacturing advanced drilling equipment packages-think top drives, iron roughnecks, drawworks, BOPs, and risers-as well as complete land rigs, we're constantly working to solve our customers' operational challenges.

We're designing new technology and robotics that deliver increased automation; expanding our training offerings to help our partners close the industry's generational gap; and developing smarter, more advanced drilling solutions for all types of land and offshore environments.

We're continually pushing our own standards higher to deliver the safest, most efficient, and most reliable drilling solutions in the world. Join us as we continue to power the industry that powers the world.

Description - Robotics Engineer

A highly motivated robotics engineer or controls engineer with a strong track record in robotics and machine automation to contribute to and be part of a team whose main objective will be to design and develop new, and refine existing systems, for automation in oil and gas drill floor activities, with the primary emphasis being improved safety, efficiency, and robust execution of handing operations.

This role will be a technically challenging one in a dynamic environment. The role will present the successful candidate with opportunities to contribute to the continued success of NOV, a company with an unmatched pedigree and a huge legacy of innovation and technological advancement in the Oil and Gas Industry.


Responsibilities will fall into two main areas; in-house, and outsourced automation development

In-house development:
  • Review existing drill floor equipment with a view to redesigning for use in hands free and/or automated pipe handling and drilling.
  • Conduct research on robotic hardware and software technologies to create new robotic systems or system capabilities.
  • Conduct research into effective, optimized path planning with advanced collision detection and/collision avoidance algorithms.
  • Participate in initial equipment conceptual ideas and development, specifications, and control requirements, for hands free and automated pipe handling and drilling, such as mobile omni-directional robots.
  • Research, assess, and where necessary design software and hardware systems for electromechanical equipment or systems, and advanced displays, advanced sensing, robotic platforms, computer vision.
  • Research, assess, and where necessary design software and hardware systems for robotic applications related to the drilling industry pipe-handling activities using robotic platforms, open source or commercial.
  • Introduce automated equipment and processes into oil and gas pipe handling and drilling, training aftermarket personnel to support after deployment.

Outsourced automation development:
  • Participate in the definition of scope with vendors for the development of robotic and automated solutions for exclusive use in NOV equipment and rig packages
  • Participate in NOV specification and standards creation for robotic solutions, and release to vendor for quote and technical evaluation
  • Enforce application of NOV standards, and work with vendors during specification, design review, design approval
  • Establish test plans and control test plan execution with vendors and at NOV and customers facilities during installation and acceptance testing and commissioning
  • Configure and validate new automated drilling and pipe handling equipment for deployment onto NOV and customer assets


  • Perform other work related tasks as assigned.
  • Comply with all NOV Company and HSE policies and procedures.


Minimum Qualifications / Skills:
  • Masters Degree in a related engineering field with practical experience in robotics and/or industrial automation, and 5 additional years of proven experience in the development of machine and automation controls
  • 2 years of experience in designing and implementing machine controls systems, using PLC or embedded controllers
  • Working knowledge and experience of PLC and high level programming languages such as Java, C, C++, LabView, Siemens, and operating systems such as Linux
  • Ability to read P&ID, electrical and hydraulics schematics and translate into software environments.
  • Working knowledge of robotics platforms and tool kits both vendor specific (such as ABB, Yaskawa, Kawasaki, Kuka, etc) and vendor independent (such as ROS and ROS Industrial).

Preferred Qualifications / Skills:
  • Knowledge of Oil and Gas drilling rig processes
  • Experience and working knowledge of AC drive systems
  • Experience of hydraulic systems and servo control
  • Experience and working knowledge of programing HMI systems
  • Working knowledge of machine vision systems and platforms
  • Understanding of AI systems and platforms
More Information on NOV
NOV operates in the Energy industry. The company is located in Houston, TX. NOV was founded in 2022. It has 26270 total employees. It offers perks and benefits such as Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Disability Insurance, Dental Benefits, Vision Benefits, Health Insurance Benefits and Life Insurance. To see all 70 open jobs at NOV, click here.
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