A robotic inspection experimental system (ARIES) and BOA Page: 5 of 192
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Area noise monitoring conducted during the
operation of BOA showed noise levels ranging
from 80-89 dBA inside the work area and 96-
103 dBA outside the work area in the vicinity of
the vacuum unit, This shows noise to be a
potential exposure hazard, especially for anyone
working in the area of the vacuum unit. Noise
monitoring will need to be conducted on a job-
by-job basis to determine the levels of exposure.
Software and Hardware Considerations
The primary missing item is diagnostic software
to help computer maintenance personnel locate
faults within the system. The exception handling
design and implementation appears to be
adequate to provide fail safe systems under any
unusual failure within the software and/or
hardware. System valves and motors fail in a
"safe" deactivated condition. For example, if
power or computer failure occurs, the robot will
remain securely clamped to the pipe and
requires manual power to be applied to move it.
Human Factors Interface
The computer system responsible for operating
BOA provides an important human factors
interface. A Heartbeat Card in the system
basically performs a dead-man switch function
to disable the system in a fail-safe mode. The
E-Stop buttons located on several system
components (pendant, control box, etc.)
activates a heartbeat failure.
System operation from the pendant is simple
and straight forward. The BOA pendant control
consists of simple, single actions, i.e. open
clamp, close clamp. Full control by the operator
is via this operator pendant. The pendant has a
message display panel which displays
operational and fault information to the operator.
The Manual Button Box provides simple controls
and power to the robot, if the unit has to be
removed from the pipe due to computer system
failure. In addition, BOA has a bumper tactile
sensor and a pipe hanger detection IR sensor.
SECTION 3- TECHNOLOGY APPLICABILITY
On observation the technology did not generate
visible dust and air monitoring did not show a
significant dust level. Noise measurements,
also, were acceptable for the new technology.
The need to work only on 4" O.D. pipe runs that
do not have many bends limits the applicability
of the technology. The time needed to physically
move the head around a pipe bend may negate
the savings associated with the unit
automatically operating on a straight run.
SECTION 4- REGULATORY/POLICY ISSUES
The site safety and health personnel where BOA
is being used need to be concerned with safety
and health regulations applicable to the issues
discussed above. Regulations that will apply
may include but not be limited to the following
areas: housekeeping; machine guarding;
lockoutltagout; toxic and hazardous substances;
asbestos; scaffolding; cranes, derricks, hoists,
elevators, and conveyors; noise and respiratory
protection; TSCA; PPE; HAZCOM; and
SECTION 5-OPERATIONAL CONSIDERATIONS &
Recommendations for improved worker safety
and health include good housekeeping, PPE
compatible with the level of exposure,
ergonomic training and awareness, using a
more stable wheel base on the cyclonic bagger,
designing an adequate lift to install BOA on
elevated pipe runs, and limiting the bags of
insulation to 30 pounds or less.
Research supported by the U.S. Department of Energy's Federal Energy Technology Center, under
cooperative agreement DE-FC21-95MC32260 with the Operating Engineers National HAZMAT Program,
250 Airport Circle, Beaver, WV 25813, phone 304-258-8674, fax 304-253-7758. This report was prepared
with the support of the US DOE; however, any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations
expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the DOE.
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A robotic inspection experimental system (ARIES) and BOA, report, February 1, 1998; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc711600/m1/5/: accessed February 18, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.