JRM Vol.25 No.2 pp. 340-346
doi: 10.20965/jrm.2013.p0340


Improvement of a Screw Drive In-Pipe Robot with Pathway Selection Mechanism to Pass Through T-Branches

Taiki Nishimura, Atsushi Kakogawa, and Shugen Ma

Ritsumeikan University, 1-1-1 Noji-Higashi, Kusatsu, Shiga 525-8577, Japan

Corresponding author

October 19, 2012
February 13, 2013
April 20, 2013
in-pipe robot, pipeline inspection, screw drive, differential mechanism
This paper discusses the improvement of a screw drive in-pipe robot with a pathway selection mechanism. This robot is composed of three units: a screw driving unit called a rotator unit (front unit), a steering unit that bends the front unit (middle unit), and a stator unit to hold the whole body (rear unit). It passes not only through straight pipes but also bent pipes and T-branches by changing driving modes (screw driving mode, steering mode and rolling mode). These modes are performed by just two motors through a differential mechanism. The screw drive in-pipe robot previously developed cannot pass through certain T-branches. In this paper, the rear unit has been improved to solve this problem. Constraints on robot length in T-branches caused by this improvement are discussed, that is, installation of additional passive wheels on the rear unit and its rectangle model in the T-branch. Finally, to verify the effect of this improvement and its mobility, experiments are conducted in straight, bent and T-branch pipes.
Cite this article as:
T. Nishimura, A. Kakogawa, and S. Ma, “Improvement of a Screw Drive In-Pipe Robot with Pathway Selection Mechanism to Pass Through T-Branches,” J. Robot. Mechatron., Vol.25 No.2, pp. 340-346, 2013.
Data files:
  1. [1] C. Jung, W. Chung, J. Ahn, M. Kim, G. Shin, and S. Kwon, “Optimal Mechanism Design of In-pipe Cleaning Robot,” in Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Mechatronics and Automation, pp. 1327-1332, 2011.
  2. [2] J. Okamoto Jr., J. C. Adamowski, M. S. G. Tsuzuki, F. Buiochi, and C. S. Camerini, “Autonomous system for oil pipelines inspection,” Mechatronics, Vol.9, pp. 731-743, 1999.
  3. [3] T. Miyagawa and N. Iwatsuki, “Moving Characteristics in Bent Pipes of In-pipe Mobile Robot with Wheel Drive Mechanism using Planetary Gear Drive,” The Japan Society for Precision Engineering, Vol.74, No.12, pp. 1346-1350, 2008 (in Japanese).
  4. [4] Y. Kwon, B. Lee, I. Whang, and B. Yi, “A Flat Pipeline Inspection Robot with Two Wheel Chains,” in Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. Robotics and Automation, pp. 5141-5146, 2010.
  5. [5] S. Roh, D. Kim, J. Lee, H. Moon, and H. Choi, “In-pipe Robot Based on Selective Drive Mechanism,” Int. J. of Control, Automation and Systems, Vol.7, No.1, pp. 105-112, 2009.
  6. [6] K. Taguchi and N. Kawarazaki, “Development of In-pipe Inspection Robot for Small Radius Pipelines,” J. of the Robotics of Japan, Vol.15, No.2, pp. 230-235, 1997 (in Japanese).
  7. [7] Y. Kwon, B. Lee, I.Whang, and B. Yi, “A Pipeline Inspection Robot with a Linkage Type Mechanical Clutch,” in Proc. IEEE/RSJ Int. Conf. Intelligent Robots and Systems, pp. 2851-2856, 2010.
  8. [8] K. Tadakuma, R. Tadakuma, K. Nagatani, K. Yoshida, A. Ming, M. Shimojo, and K. Iagnemma, “Basic Running Test of the Cylindrical Tracked Vehicle with Sideways Mobility,” in Proc. IEEE/RSJ Int. Conf. Intelligent Robots and Systems, pp. 1679-1684, 2009.
  9. [9] H. Omori, T. Hayakawa, and T. Nakamura, “Locomotion and Turning Patterns of a Peristaltic Crawling Earthworm Robot Composed of Flexible Units,” in Proc. IEEE/RSJ Int. Conf. Intelligent Robots and Systems, pp. 1630-1636, 2008.
  10. [10] J. Lim, H. Park, S. Moon, and B. Kim, “Pneumatic Robot Based on Inchworm Motion for Small Diameter Pipe Inspection,” in Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. Robotics and Biomimetics, pp. 330-335, 2007.
  11. [11] T. Baba, Y. Kameyama, T. Kamegawa, and A. Gofuku, “A snake robot propelling inside of a pipe with helical rolling motion,” in Proc. SICE Annual Conf., pp. 2319-2325, 2010.
  12. [12] E. Dertien, S. Stramigioli, and K. Pulles, “Development of an inspection robot for small diameter gas distribution mains,” in Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation, pp. 5044-5049, 2011.
  13. [13] A. Kakogawa and S. Ma, “Stiffness design of springs for a screw drive in-pipe robot to pass through curved pipes and vertical straight pipes,” Int. J. of Advanced Robotics, Vol.26, No.3/4, pp. 253-276, 2012.
  14. [14] T. Nishimura, A. Kakogawa, and S. Ma, “Pathway Selection Mechanism of a Screw Drive In-Pipe Robot in T-Branches,” in Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Automation Science and Engineering, pp. 608-613, 2012.

*This site is desgined based on HTML5 and CSS3 for modern browsers, e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera.

Last updated on Jul. 19, 2024