JRM Vol.24 No.6 pp. 1054-1062
doi: 10.20965/jrm.2012.p1054


An In-Pipe Mobile Robot for Use as an Industrial Endoscope Based on an Earthworm’s Peristaltic Crawling

Shota Horii and Taro Nakamura

Chuo University, 1-13-27 Kasuga, Bunkyou-ku, Tokyo 112-8551, Japan

September 30, 2011
October 22, 2012
December 20, 2012
peristaltic crawling, in-pipe inspection, industrial endoscope, earthworm

Many pipe accidents caused by corrosion or deterioration have been reported recently; hence, in-pipe inspection is needed to prevent such problems. Fiberscopes are currently used as industrial endoscopes to inspect defects in pipes. Because of friction, however, they cannot be inserted into pipes that are more than 15 m long or into complex pipes such as elbows. Therefore in-pipe inspection robots need to be selfpropelled in order to be inserted into these environments. We are developing a robot capable of propelling itself through various pipes, such as long pipes and elbow pipes, specifically, a peristaltic crawling robot using DC brushless motors for in-pipe inspection. In this study, the robot we developed was used in straight and elbow pipes with an inner diameter of 27 mm. In this paper, we derive theoretical formulas for robot locomotion speed and propulsion force and propose a special motion pattern, known as the middle motion pattern, for the robot’s peristaltic crawling pattern. We performed several experiments in a 27-mm-diameter acrylic pipe to examine the locomotion speed and propulsion force. We also developed a robot that can pass through an elbow and conducted several experiments to confirm this.

Cite this article as:
Shota Horii and Taro Nakamura, “An In-Pipe Mobile Robot for Use as an Industrial Endoscope Based on an Earthworm’s Peristaltic Crawling,” J. Robot. Mechatron., Vol.24, No.6, pp. 1054-1062, 2012.
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Last updated on Mar. 05, 2021