Monday, February 23, 2009

Pipe inspection robot 1

HELI-PIPE family consist of four different types of robots for in-pipe
inspection. The robots has two parts articulated with a universal joint.
One part (the stator) is guided along the pipe by a set of wheels
moving parallel to the axis of the pipe, while the other part (the rotor)
is forced to follow an helical motion thanks to tilted wheels rotating
about the axis of the pipe. A single motor (with gear reducer built-in)
is placed between the two bodies to produce the motion (no direct
actuated wheels). All the wheels are mounted on a suspension to
accommodate for changing tube diameter and curves in the pipe.
The robots are autonomous and carries their own batteries and
radio links.

Locomotion in tubes
Using a snake-like undulating travelling wave gait, the robot climbed
into and out of a 4" diameter ducting pipe. This was part of locomotion
through a general rubble pile of wooden pallets etc.

Pipe-Crawling Robot NC State Engineers
NC State Engineers Design Pipe-Crawling Robot to Save Lives

The most recent design, MOCASIn 2, is able to navigate
a complicated course of piping, complete with 90-degree turns
and vertical climbs. The segmented robot has the look of
a cyber-inchworm and uses pneumatics to force padded
"feet" against the pipe walls as it extends and contracts its
body along the pipe course.
"The use of pneumatics for movement is an important factor
because sometimes there are explosive gases present in buildings
that have collapsed," says Grant. "Electricity would have
the potential for igniting these gases so we designed the robot to
use compressed air instead. This gives it added portability, as well.
The robot can run off air tanks when there is no electricity to run
an air compressor, and it is designed so that it breaks down into
components that can easily be carried in backpacks to remote
disaster sites."

Site Inspection of Gas Main by Helical Tomography

Invocon co-developed a system to inspect the internal and external
physical condition of subsurface pipe used for natural gas distribution.
Designed to measure the wall thickness of the pipe, the system
formulated a tomogram image of the cross-sectional area of the pipe.

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