Title: Development of sliding type inspection robot using flexible pneumatic cylinder

Authors: Tetsuya Akagi; Shujiro Dohta; Lin Wang; Takahiro Kawasaki

Addresses: Department of Intelligent Mechanical Engineering, Okayama University of Science, 1-1 Ridai-cho, Kita-ku, Okayama 700-0005, Japan ' Department of Intelligent Mechanical Engineering, Okayama University of Science, 1-1 Ridai-cho, Kita-ku, Okayama 700-0005, Japan ' Department of Intelligent Mechanical Engineering, Okayama University of Science, 1-1 Ridai-cho, Kita-ku, Okayama 700-0005, Japan ' Department of Intelligent Mechanical Engineering, Okayama University of Science, 1-1 Ridai-cho, Kita-ku, Okayama 700-0005, Japan

Abstract: A pipe inspection robot is required to decrease the inspection cost. In this paper, a sliding type flexible mobile mechanism for the inspection robot was proposed and tested. The mechanisms consist of the open/close claw units and novel flexible pneumatic cylinders that can be driven even if the cylinder bends. The improvement of the sliding mechanism so that it can travel into a narrower pipe was also described. The flexible bending mechanism for changing the direction of the robot was also proposed and tested. As a result, the tested robot can travel in the narrow pipe with inner diameter of 50 mm smoothly by using the open/close unit and the sliding mechanism as an inchworm. The robot can also easily turn in both elbow and pipe tee by changing the body of the robot naturally according to the pipe based on its flexibility.

Keywords: pipe inspection robots; flexible pneumatic cylinders; McKibben artificial muscle; flexible sliding mechanism; flexible structure; sliding robots; flexible robots.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAMECHS.2013.055996

International Journal of Advanced Mechatronic Systems, 2013 Vol.5 No.2, pp.87 - 94

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 23 Aug 2013 *

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