Next Article in Journal
RSS-Based Target Localization in Underwater Acoustic Sensor Networks via Convex Relaxation
Previous Article in Journal
A Nonlinear Circuit Analysis Technique for Time-Variant Inductor Systems
Open AccessArticle

A Coordinated Wheeled Gas Pipeline Robot Chain System Based on Visible Light Relay Communication and Illuminance Assessment

1
Graduate School of Creative Science and Engineering, Waseda University, Tokyo 169-8050, Japan
2
Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd., Tokyo 105-8527, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(10), 2322; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19102322
Received: 20 March 2019 / Revised: 13 May 2019 / Accepted: 13 May 2019 / Published: 20 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
The gas pipeline requires regular inspection since the leakage brings damage to the stable gas supply. Compared to current detection methods such as destructive inspection, using pipeline robots has advantages including low cost and high efficiency. However, they have a limited inspection range in the complex pipe owing to restrictions by the cable friction or wireless signal attenuation. In our former study, to extend the inspection range, we proposed a robot chain system based on wireless relay communication (WRC). However, some drawbacks still remain such as imprecision of evaluation based on received signal strength indication (RSSI), large data error ratio, and loss of signals. In this article, we thus propose a new approach based on visible light relay communication (VLRC) and illuminance assessment. This method enables robots to communicate by the ‘light signal relay’, which has advantages in good communication quality, less attenuation, and high precision in the pipe. To ensure the stability of VLRC, the illuminance-based evaluation method is adopted due to higher stability than the wireless-based approach. As a preliminary evaluation, several tests about signal waveform, communication quality, and coordinated movement were conducted. The results indicate that the proposed system can extend the inspection range with less data error ratio and more stable communication. View Full-Text
Keywords: visible light communication (VLC); pipeline robot; illuminance assessment; gas inspection visible light communication (VLC); pipeline robot; illuminance assessment; gas inspection
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

Zhao, W.; Kamezaki, M.; Yoshida, K.; Yamaguchi, K.; Konno, M.; Onuki, A.; Sugano, S. A Coordinated Wheeled Gas Pipeline Robot Chain System Based on Visible Light Relay Communication and Illuminance Assessment. Sensors 2019, 19, 2322.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop