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Research Papers

Development of an In-Pipe Robot With Differential Screw Angles for Curved Pipes and Vertical Straight Pipes

[+] Author and Article Information
Te Li

Key Laboratory for Precision & Non-traditional
Machining of Ministry of Education,
School of Mechanical Engineering,
Dalian University of Technology,
Dalian 116024, China;
State Key Laboratory of Robotics,
Shenyang Institute of Automation,
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Shenyang 110016, China
e-mail: teli@dlut.edu.cn

Shugen Ma

State Key Laboratory of Robotics,
Shenyang Institute of Automation,
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Shenyang 110016, China;
Department of Robotics,
Ritsumeikan University,
Shiga-ken 525-8577, Japan
e-mail: shugen@se.ritsumei.ac.jp

Bin Li

State Key Laboratory of Robotics,
Shenyang Institute of Automation,
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Shenyang 110016, China
e-mail: libin_sia@163.com

Minghui Wang

State Key Laboratory of Robotics,
Shenyang Institute of Automation,
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Shenyang 110016, China
e-mail: mhwang@sia.cn

Zhiqiang Li

State Key Laboratory of Robotics,
Shenyang Institute of Automation,
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Shenyang 110016, China
e-mail: lizhiqiang@sia.cn

Yongqing Wang

Key Laboratory for Precision & Non-traditional
Machining of Ministry of Education,
School of Mechanical Engineering,
Dalian University of Technology,
Dalian 116024, China
e-mail: yqwang@dlut.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received December 31, 2016; final manuscript received August 4, 2017; published online August 31, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Jun Ueda.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 9(5), 051014 (Aug 31, 2017) (11 pages) Paper No: JMR-16-1391; doi: 10.1115/1.4037617 History: Received December 31, 2016; Revised August 04, 2017

The in-pipe robots based on screw drive mechanism are very promising in the aspects of pipe inspecting and maintaining. The novel design of an in-pipe robot with differential screw angles is presented for the curved pipes and vertical straight pipes. The robot is mainly composed of the screw drive mechanism, adaptive linkage mechanism, and the elastic arm mechanism. The alternative adjusting abilities of the mobile velocity and traction, and the adaptive steering ability in curved pipes, are achieved by the special designs. A parameter design approach in consideration of the climbing and steering abilities is proposed in detail for the springs and length of the elastic arms. The results are applied to the prototype design of the robot. In several groups of experiments, the proposed robot is competent to pass through curved pipes and vertical straight pipes. The results prove that the proposed mechanism and parameter design approach are both valid.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME
Topics: Robots , Screws , Design , Pipes , Springs , Rollers
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References

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Mobile features of the screw drive in-pipe robot: (a) steering speed, (b) speed model, and (c) cross section feature in the curved pipes

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Fig. 2

Steering by adjusting screw angles

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Fig. 3

Mechanism design diagram of the proposed robot: (a) structure overview of the robot, (b) screw drive mechanism, and (c) adaptive linkage mechanism

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Fig. 4

Schematic diagram of the adaptive linkage mechanism

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Fig. 5

Mechanism design of elastic arm (a) supporting elastic arm, (b) rotational elastic arm, and (c) force analysis

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Fig. 6

The lateral view of the static model in the vertical pipes

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Fig. 7

The top view of the static model in the vertical pipes

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Fig. 8

Steering motion relation of the robot in curved pipes

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Fig. 9

The model of steering motion in curved pipes

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Fig. 10

The changing length of the elastic arms when R = 313 mm and L = 200 mm

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Fig. 11

The changing screw angles of the rollers in the curved pipes

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Fig. 12

Prototype of the proposed robot

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Fig. 13

Structure diagram of the control system

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Fig. 14

Experiment environment of the straight pipe

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Fig. 15

The screw rollers of the robot in the straight pipe

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Fig. 16

Experiment environment of the vertical pipe

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Fig. 17

Experiment environments of the curved pipes

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Fig. 18

The screw roller angles of the robot in the curved pipes

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