Chrysalix Venture Capital


Tank Inspection Challenge

Innovative ideas for safe, accurate and economical inspections of aboveground storage tanks without human entry, while staying in service.
Up to $250,000 USD

Challenge Overview

Challenge Overview

The Oil & Gas sector utilizes large capacity Aboveground Storage Tanks (AST) to temporarily hold several different liquid or gas substances (e.g., water, crude, chemicals).  The tanks are typically built up from welded steel plates, rest on top of the ground and are prone to corrosion over time.

Tank inspections are extremely costly, laborious, and creates a significant safety risk as they are performed manually, requiring storage tanks to be taken out-of-service, cleaned, and degassed to allow workers to enter the confined space.

In general, the population of tanks is quite diverse, ranging from 40’ to 300’ in diameter, in refineries, the most common are 110’ and 300’. The crude oil is of all types, light, paraffinic or asphaltenic, depending on the origin. Uncleaned tanks can be particularly challenging as the access to the tank floor is limited by a buildup of sediment or sludge (e.g., crude, wax, asphaltene). The sludge can range from 2-6 inches to 10 feet depending on the product characteristics but mostly in 2-5 feet range.  


Get Involved

We welcome entrepreneurs, researchers, scientists, students, and anyone eager to contribute, to jump into this challenge and to find a solution. To register for the challenge:

  • Read the Challenge Guidelines to learn about requirements and rules
  • Click the “ACCEPT CHALLENGE” button above and enter your passcode to start your entry
  • Start a conversation in our Forum to ask questions or connect with other innovators


About the Sponsors

Chrysalix Venture Capital Chrysalix is a global venture capital fund with a long history commercializing step-change innovation for resource intensive industries. We invest in intelligent systems, energy technology and resource productivity solutions to deliver outsized financial returns and environmental sustainability. By teaming up with leading industrial companies and outstanding entrepreneurs, Chrysalix connects market driven problems to breakthrough solutions. Founded in Vancouver, Canada in 2001, Chrysalix has one of the strongest investment teams in the industry with deep energy, technology and entrepreneurial expertise, and is backed by more than 20 international blue chip industrial and financial investors.


PETRONAS Established in 1974, Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS) is Malaysia’s fully integrated oil and gas multinational ranked among the largest corporations on FORTUNE Global 500®. The growing demand for energy inspires and strengthens our purpose to steadily drive for new solutions and push boundaries towards a sustainable energy future. We apply innovative approaches to technology which helps us unlock and maximise energy sources from even the most remote and difficult environments. Our fully integrated value chain spans from exploration to marketing, logistics to technological infrastructures, with operations in over 50 countries. Throughout our rapidly expanding network and steady growth trajectory, PETRONAS has consistently and successfully implemented various social, environmental and community programmes. Guided by our Corporate Sustainability Framework, we carry out our business in a socially responsible and holistic manner for the benefit of the present and future generations.

Updates 5

Challenge Updates

AST Challenge: Semi-finalists announced

July 19, 2019, 4:15 p.m. PDT by HeroAJ

The Chrysalix – PETRONAS Tank Inspection Challenge has officially closed!

For the past week, our team has been diligently reviewing the submissions and we have been thoroughly impressed by the number of engaged innovators around the world. To date, we have received over 11,000 views for this challenge, including an engaged community of 231 and 47 quality submissions.


We are pleased to announce the following semi-finalists:

Amphibious GPR Mounted Robot for Oil Tank Surveys




AST Elastic Wave Tomography (ASTEWT)




In-Service AST Inspection Using Guided Waves




InspecTAR: Tank inspection robot




New innovations detector Wireless IoT technology




Pneumatic vibration to navigate sludge








SludgeBOT: Autonomous Tank Inspection Robot




SOTIR - Submergible Oil Tank Inspection Robot








Tethered robotic system for online AST inspection




The Angler Automatank




Underwater drone for online AST inspection





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8 Hours Remaining to Submit

July 12, 2019, 9 a.m. PDT by Kyla Jeffrey

If you're still assembling your submission, you have exactly 8 hours left to complete it! 

Here's a Tip: HeroX recommends innovators plan to submit with at least a 3-hour window of time before the true deadline. Last-minute technical problems and unforeseen roadblocks have been the cause of many headaches. Don't let that be you!

Two Day Warning

July 10, 2019, 5 p.m. PDT by Kyla Jeffrey

This is your official two-day reminder!

That's right, the AST Tank Inspection Challenge will be closing this coming Friday July 12th at 5:00 pm Pacific Time (Los Angeles/USA)

Please be sure to complete your submission form well before the exact cut-off time. 

At exactly 5:00 pm Pacific Time, we can no longer accept new submissions! 

Got questions?

Now is the time to speak up! Comment directly on this update with any questions about the submission process and we'll get back to you right away!

4 Days Remaining to Submit!

July 8, 2019, 8:42 p.m. PDT by Kyla Jeffrey

We are quickly approaching the final days open for submission to the AST Tank Inspection Challenge. The deadline is Friday July 12th at 5:00 pm Pacific Time (Los Angeles/USA) Eastern Time 

Here are a couple of last-minute tips for a smooth entry process:

1. Begin your submission process several days before the cutoff time. This allows you to ensure everything you have been working on can be seamlessly integrated into the form.

2. Your submission will not be reviewed until you click the orange "Submit Final Entry" button at the top of the final review page. Please remember to do this! 

3. Review the Challenge Guidelines to ensure your submission is complete. Pay particular attention to the judging criteria which will be the scorecard used to evaluate your entry.

4. Have any questions? Head over to the challenge forum and we would love to help you out. 

Thanks so much, and good luck to all! 

More time to submit!

June 11, 2019, 1:28 p.m. PDT by Kyla Jeffrey

For the past 6 weeks, Chrysalix's Cornerstone Academic Partners have been working diligently on their submissions and today we open the challenge to the world!

With so many people just finding out about the challenge now, we are giving you extra time to work on your entry! You now have until July 12th at 5pm PDT (Los Angeles time) to get your entry in! Check out the timeline for full details.

You can still update your submission if you would like to do so. Simply return to your entry and click the "Return to editing" button.

Best of luck!

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Community 242