In the main, today’s robots are not that clever. They cannot climb or navigate in vertical pipes – and very few have active joints.
Cybernetics and optical measurement scientists at SINTEF are working on a solution.Navigation by light and image
The inspection robot will be able to move in pipes of various diameters, right down to 20 cm. Cybernetics scientists are developing the propulsion system while a team of optics scientists is working on the new robot’s visual system.
“We are currently developing the vision system than will enable the robot to navigate,” says Jens Thielemann at SINTEF ICT. “In the meantime, we are using the lego robot Mindstormer to collect the data to train the vision system. This lego robot has a camera attached and moves around the pipe following a pre-programmed map. The next step will be to utilise the vision system as input to control the actual snake robot we are going to develop.”
The camera that will provide the new robot’s vision is an off the shelf time-of-flight camera that provides a bathymetric chart of the pipe system using inflected light.
“Combined with our algorithms, the robot will be able to navigate and move forward on its own,” says Thielemann. “The robot knows when a left or right turn is approaching and also contains a built-in path description detailing what tasks it should carry out in different situations.Functions as a train
“We now want to develop a robot with 10-11 joint modules, each with an identical pair of wheels cast in plastic. The weight must be well distributed between the joints. For example, can we put the camera and accelerator motor in two different joint modules? The robot will function as a train when operating horizontally. Such robots already exist, but we want to develop a robot that can climb too.”
The scientists have designed several versions of the pipe inspection robot and have tested different solutions in order to make the new robot both mobile and compact. They have now come up with a design they have faith in.Twisting upwards
The scientists emphasise that the project is at the design stage. In June, two of the 11 joint modules will be tested to verify the concept and they hope to demonstrate a prototype model by the end of the year. This comprises just phase one of an industrial development, but the enthusiastic scientists are confident of succeeding in the foreseeable future. The final version of the robot will be constructed of aluminium and is planned to be 1.5 m long.
Aase Dragland | alfa
Turbomachine expander offers efficient, safe strategy for heating, cooling
25.02.2020 | Purdue University
New graphene-based metasurface capable of independent amplitude and phase control of light
20.02.2020 | The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
Researchers at the University of Bayreuth have discovered an unusual material: When cooled down to two degrees Celsius, its crystal structure and electronic properties change abruptly and significantly. In this new state, the distances between iron atoms can be tailored with the help of light beams. This opens up intriguing possibilities for application in the field of information technology. The scientists have presented their discovery in the journal "Angewandte Chemie - International Edition". The new findings are the result of close cooperation with partnering facilities in Augsburg, Dresden, Hamburg, and Moscow.
The material is an unusual form of iron oxide with the formula Fe₅O₆. The researchers produced it at a pressure of 15 gigapascals in a high-pressure laboratory...
Study by Mainz physicists indicates that the next generation of neutrino experiments may well find the answer to one of the most pressing issues in neutrino physics
Among the most exciting challenges in modern physics is the identification of the neutrino mass ordering. Physicists from the Cluster of Excellence PRISMA+ at...
Fraunhofer researchers are investigating the potential of microimplants to stimulate nerve cells and treat chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, or Parkinson’s disease. Find out what makes this form of treatment so appealing and which challenges the researchers still have to master.
A study by the Robert Koch Institute has found that one in four women will suffer from weak bladders at some point in their lives. Treatments of this condition...
The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.
Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...
Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.
Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...
12.02.2020 | Event News
16.01.2020 | Event News
15.01.2020 | Event News
25.02.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.02.2020 | Earth Sciences
25.02.2020 | Life Sciences