Piping inspection robots are of greater importance for industries such as nuclear, chemical and sewage. Mechanisms having closed loop or tree-like structures can be employed in such pipelines owing to their adaptable structures. A bio-inspired caterpillar type piping inspection robot was developed at Laboratoire des Sciences du Numérique de Nantes (LS2N), France. Using DC motors and leg mechanisms, the robot accomplishes the locomotion of a caterpillar in six-steps. With the help of Coulomb’s law of dry friction, a static force model was written and the contact forces between legs of robot and pipeline walls were determined. The actuator forces of the DC motors were then estimated under static phases for horizontal and vertical orientations of the pipeline. Experiments were then conducted on the prototype where the peak results of static force analysis for a given pipe diameter were set as threshold limits to attain static phases inside a test pipeline. The real-time actuator forces were estimated in experiments for similar orientations of the pipeline of static force models and they were found to be higher when compared to the numerical model.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited