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A pipe-crawling robot using bio-inspired peristaltic locomotion and modular actuated non-destructive evaluation mechanism
Author(s): Hadi Fekrmandi; Phillip Hillard
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Paper Abstract

In this paper, the design, development, and laboratory testing of a pipe crawling robot for autonomous piping maintenance is presented. The robot consists of a modular design with four cylindrical modules for navigation which uses worm-type locomotion. Two gripping modules at a given sequence alternate gripping action simultaneously to create forward motion along with the other two modules holding the robot in place between gripping sequences. The gripping modules are designed for light-weight, optimized radial traction and to provide the maximum pull force. Then an active inspection mechanism equipped with a computer vision camera is used in the design of a conceptual nondestructive evaluation module. The bio-mimic design of the robot not only provides significant traction with pipe walls to carry NDE equipment, but it also allows conducting multi-scale mechanism tasks. Inspired by peristaltic locomotion, the proposed pipe inspection crawler can perform gripping action using radial motions to adjust to variations of pipes diameter within 4-5 inches inside pipes sloped from 0 to 180 degrees. The initial crawler’s prototype is manufactured using an additive manufacturing process. A laboratory scale test set-up is manufactured for experimentation. Testing performance of the crawler shows that the robot can accomplish horizontal and vertical motions in both upward and downward directions with adjustable gripping force. It also, demonstrated fitting and T-joint compatibility for pipe transitioning.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 March 2019
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 10965, Bioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication IX, 1096508 (20 March 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2515433
Show Author Affiliations
Hadi Fekrmandi, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (United States)
Phillip Hillard , South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10965:
Bioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication IX
Raúl J. Martín-Palma; Mato Knez; Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Editor(s)

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