Development of a Mechanism for the Movement of a Piping Inspection Robot

T. Yukawa, S. Komatsubara, C. Ooyama, and H. Okano (Japan)


Pipe inspection robot, Movement mechanism, Connecting mechanism, Slide mechanism, Magnetic wheel


Piping inspection sometimes must be performed in such areas as those affected by radiation contamination and at dangerous heights, etc. In an environment in which a human cannot work, a robot is needed. Up to now, many robots that inspect the inside of piping have seen practical use. On the other hand, a robot intended to inspect the surface of piping has not been realised. It has been impossible for a robot to inspect a pipe's surface due to obstacles such as flanges, valves, curves, vertical piping, etc. The present study examines a mechanism intended to allow an inspection robot to move automatically along the outside of a pipe. We have also designed a mechanism that enables the robot to traverse flanges. This robot moves by means of magnetic wheels, and is composed of three connected units. This robot can traverse flanges by moving each of its three units independently; i.e., one unit moves up and down while the others move horizontally.

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