Advances in the inspection of unpiggable pipelines

Image of the eight main elements of in-pipe robotic locomotion

Advances in the inspection of unpiggable pipelines

Nov 30 2017

The field of in-pipe robotics covers a vast and varied number of approaches to the inspection of pipelines with robots specialising in pipes ranging anywhere from 10 mm to 1200 mm in diameter. Many of these developed systems focus on overcoming in-pipe obstacles such as T-sections and elbows, as a result important aspects of exploration are treated as sub-systems, namely shape adaptability. One of the most prevalent methods of hybridised locomotion today is wall-pressing; generating traction using the encompassing pipe walls. A review of wall-pressing systems has been performed, covering the different approaches taken since their introduction. The advantages and disadvantages of these systems is discussed as well as their effectiveness in the inspection of networks with highly varying pipe diameters. When compared to unconventional in-pipe robotic techniques, traditional full-bore wall-pressing robots were found to be at a disadvantage.

Mills, GH, Jackson, AE and Richardson, RC (2017) Advances in the inspection of unpiggable pipelines. Robotics, 6 (4). ISSN 2218-6581 Read publication.

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