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Concept and Design of A Fully Autonomous Sewer Pipe Inspection Mobile Robot "KANTARO"

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5 Author(s)
Nassiraei, A.A.F. ; FAIS - Robotics Dev. Support Office ; Kawamura, Y. ; Ahrary, A. ; Mikuriya, Y.
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In current conventional method, the sewer pipe inspection is undertaken using a cable-tethered robot with an on-board video camera system, completely, tele-operated by human operator. All commercial sewer inspection robots have platforms with poor mobility functions so that those robots are only capable to move into the straight pipes. Inspecting the sewage pipes using the state of the arts inspection methods by the current robots is costly, mostly human cost, and not fast enough to check and inspect the amount of sewage pipes will grow stronger than it has actually happened, specially in Japan. In order to realize inexpensive and effective inspection system, an autonomous pipe inspection method should be introduced to improve the inspection efficiency by reducing the time and manpower in the inspection process. The development of a fully autonomous pipe inspection system, requires design and development of an un-tethered mobile robot equipped with the required sensors using for autonomous pipe assessment and damage detection, and capability of navigating, completely, autonomously inside of sewer networks including different types of pipe-bends such as curves and junctions. KANTARO, presented in this paper, is the prototype of a passive-active intelligent, fully autonomous, un-tethered robot which has an intelligent modular architecture in its sensor and mechanism. KANTARO prototype robot, including a novel passive-active intelligent moving mechanism, can move into the straight pipe and pass various kinds of pipe bends without need to any intelligence of the controller or sensor reading. In order to realize a fully autonomous inspection robot, we also developed a small and intelligent 2D laser scanner for detecting of the navigational landmarks, independently with the main computer system, and fusion with a fish eye camera to assess the pipe state and fault detection.

Published in:

Robotics and Automation, 2007 IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

10-14 April 2007