VARIABLE PITCH HELICAL DRIVE IN-PIPE ROBOT

Tao Ren, Qingyou Liu, Yonghua Chen, and Shouhong Ji

Keywords

Inpipe robot, variable pitch, helical drive, curved pipe, turning motion

Abstract

Pipelines are extensively used to transport water, oil, and gas for daily human activities and industrial production. An in-pipe robot is necessary to prevent fluid leakage accident by regularly detecting the quality status of a pipeline. Given the complex paths and shapes of pipes, an in-pipe robot cannot easily pass through curved pipes. In this study, a novel variable pitch helical drive in-pipe robot is introduced. The variable pitch adjusting mechanism makes switching the robot between three motion patterns (normal, variable speed, and turning) easy. The proposed robot can pass through curved pipes actively by controlling the helical angle of each driving wheel separately. The space spiral kinematic trajectories of the passive typical and the active novel helical in-pipe robots are compared. A prototype is developed to verify the validity of the proposed structure and function.

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