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Bio-robotic ROV Design for Pipe-work Opto-sensorial Safety-inspections



Among the various chemical and mechanical engineering form of assembly, tube and pipe-work are very common and important. Since it is important to ensure that welding and connections are sound it is not surprising that many remote operated systems have been developed to carry out integrity inspections. Internal sensorial inspection using remotely operated vehicle (ROV) have been developed especially thanks to the recent progress of miniaturization and cost reduction. But applications are complicated by materials, geometries, environment challenges and the industry is continuously looking at new solutions that are flexible and affordable. In this paper, we propose a new robot with wheel grip designs that combined with different movement mechanisms can bring novel advantages, for example, helping inspecting pipework systems which are more delicate and perhaps cannot take high axial loads or for irregular pipe transitions. Tests have been carried out on a wheel system where the tyre is made up by silicon with a series of row of three suction pads that are forced on the internal surface of Perspex pipe as the wheel rotates pushed by a limited force.

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