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Design and Motion Planning of a Two-Module Collaborative Indoor Pipeline Inspection Robot

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2 Author(s)
Young-Sik Kwon ; Department of Electronic, Electrical, Control and Instrumentation Engineering, Hanyang University, Seoul , Korea ; Byung-Ju Yi

This paper deals with a design and motion planning algorithm of a caterpillar-based pipeline robot that can be used for inspection of 80-100-mm pipelines in an indoor pipeline environment. The robot system uses a differential drive to steer the robot and spring loaded four-bar mechanisms to assure that the robot expands to grip the pipe walls. Unique features of this robot are the caterpillar wheels, the analysis of the four-bar mechanism supporting the treads, a closed-form kinematic approach, and an intuitive user interface. In addition, a new motion planning approach is proposed, which uses springs to interconnect two robot modules and allows the modules to cooperatively navigate through difficult segments of the pipes. Furthermore, an analysis method of selecting optimal compliance to assure functionality and cooperation is suggested. Simulation and experimental results are used throughout the paper to highlight algorithms and approaches.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Robotics  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 3 )