In-pipe Mobile Micromachine Using Fluid Power Adaptable to Pipe Diameters
Kazuhiro Yoshida*, Ken Takahashi**, and Shinichi Yokota*
*Precision and Intelligence Laboratory
**Graduate School, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 4259 Nagatsuta-cho, Midori-ku, Yokohama 226-8503, Japan
To realize maintenance microrobots for low-diameter pipes of nuclear reactors and electric power plants requires high-power in-pipe mobile micromachines. We proposed a bellows microactuator using fluid power and applied actuators to in-pipe mobile micromachines. Previous papers have described mobile inchworm prototypes 25mm in diameter and travel performance. To miniaturize the in-pipe mobile machine and adapt it to pipe diameters, a support mechanism using a toggle and adaptable to pipe diameters was proposed and support force clarified. We proposed a simple rubber-tube microactuator constrained with a coil spring and described static features. We fabricated a mobile micromachine for pipes 4-5mm in diameter that traveled at 7mm/s both forward and backward.
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