DrillboticsTM 2017 Competition Results 

Thank you for the hard work and long hours by the student teams participating in the 2017 Drillbotics competition.  Through two semesters you have learned things that are not in the textbooks.  You experienced the thrill of invention followed by the intense effort necessary to develop your innovation into a working prototype.  All of you experienced times when things did not go as planned, yet you found ways to keep moving forward.  Congratulations to all of you.  However, since this is a competition, we judges have to grade your overall performance as best we can.  The winning team was closely followed by three other entrants, so close in fact, that we felt there was a tie for third place.  The winners of the 2017 competition is as follows:

1st          Texas A&M University

 2nd        Norwegian University of Science and Technology's (NTNU) 

3rd Tie    University of Stavanger (UiS)

3rd Tie    University of Oklahoma


The winning team at Texas A&M includes Tyrell Cunningham, Enrique Zarate Losoya, Ibrahim El-Sayed and their professor Dr. Samuel Noynaert (not shown).



 DrillboticsTM 2016 Competition Results 

The Drillbotics tests for 2016 have now been completed.  Every year the competition gets stronger and the judges find it harder to select a winner. This year, the winning team was West Virginia University.  They drilled the 10.5 inch rock sample in a record time of 27 minutes and the wellbore was fully vertical.   They included interactive drill-off tests to select optimal drilling parameters in near real-time.  The team includes Tawfik Elshehabi, Zachary Cox, Gbolahan “Bugzy” Idowu, Cody Smith, and Rachael Richard.  Dr. Ilkin Bilgesu, Faculty Advisor, will be hard pressed to replace them next year.

Full details of this competition can be found here...


Papers related to the DSATS Automated Drilling Rig (Drillbotics) Competition. Started in 2014, this competition is open to multi-disciplinary teams of students from Universities around the World.

2016-2017 Texas A&M University
To be presented at the IADC/SPE Drilling Conference, Session 10, 7 March 2018 in Ft. Worth, TX.

Noynaert, S., Cunningham, T., El-Sayed, I., Zarate Losoya, E., Florence, F.  Lab-Scale Drilling Rig Autonomously Mitigates Downhole Dysfunctions and Geohazards Through Bit Design, Control System and Machine Learning.  SPE-189630-MS


2015-2016 West Virginia University
From the 2017 SPE Western Regional Meeting - Bakersfield, California 23-27 April
A Real-Time Interactive Drill-Off Test Utilizing Artificial Intelligence Algorithm for DSATS Drilling Automation University Competition 


H. Bilgesu(West Virginia University),Z. D. Cox(West Virginia University)T. A. Elshehabi(West Virginia University),C. Smith(West Virginia University),  G. O. Idowu(West Virginia University),F. R. Florence(Rig Operations LLC)


2014-2015 University of Oklahoma
From the 2016 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, 28-30 September, Houston, Texas, USA
Design, Construction and Operation of an Automated Drilling Rig for the DSATS University Competition


Bavadiya, V. A., Aljubran, M. J., Kibe, J. M., Christy, S. M., Le, H. N., Ahmed, R., & Florence, F. (2015, September 28). Design, Construction and Operation of an Automated Drilling Rig for the DSATS University Competition. Society of Petroleum Engineers. doi:10.2118/174920-MS