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Development and Navigation of a Mobile Robot for Floating Production Storage and Offloading Ship Hull Inspection

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4 Author(s)
Menegaldo, L.L. ; Dept. of Mech. & Mater. Eng., Mil. Inst. of Eng., Rio de Janeiro, Brazil ; Ferreira, G. ; Santos, M.F. ; Guerato, R.S.

This paper describes the current development status of a mobile robot designed to inspect the outer surface of large oil ship hulls and floating production storage and offloading platforms. These vessels require a detailed inspection program, using several nondestructive testing techniques. A robotic crawler designed to perform such inspections is presented here. Locomotion over the hull is provided through magnetic tracks, and the system is controlled by two networked PCs and a set of custom hardware devices to drive motors, video cameras, ultrasound, inertial platform, and other devices. Navigation algorithm uses an extended-Kalman-filter (EKF) sensor-fusion formulation, integrating odometry and inertial sensors. It was shown that the inertial navigation errors can be decreased by selecting appropriate Q and R matrices in the EKF formulation.

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Industrial Electronics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:56 ,  Issue: 9 )