An Innovative Approach to Pipeline Health Monitoring using Crawler Robot with PVDF based Probe

Vimal Agarwal, Shreyansh Daftry, and Bishakh Bhattacharya


Sensor,Communication and Signal Processing, Autonomous Robots, Structural Health Monitoring


This paper focuses on the design and development of a pipe inspection robot and quantification of the usability of a Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) based cantilever smart probe technique for detection, localization and sizing of surface defects. The pipe crawler robot, controlled by a remote desktop through a wireless communication system, can go inside the pipelines and make inspection automatically to scan its surface quality. The smart probe, during rotation, touches the inner surface of the pipe and experience a broad-band excitation in the absence of surface features. On the other hand, whenever the probe comes across any surface defect, there is a change in vibration response of the probe. The discriminating time domain features of the observed damping waveform such as damping factor, peak value and settling time are used to interpret the experimental results with the defects in the test sample. The sensor system has reliably predicted the presence and distribution of projections, holes and surface roughness artificially constructed inside the pipe in each case. It is projected that the new sensing system could be used efficiently for pipe health monitoring.

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