Long-Range Untethered Real-Time Live Gas Main Robotic Inspection System

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Description

Under funding from the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Northeast Gas Association (NGA), Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) developed an untethered, wireless remote controlled inspection robot dubbed Explorer. The project entailed the design and prototyping of a wireless self-powered video-inspection robot capable of accessing live 6- and 8-inch diameter cast-iron and steel mains, while traversing turns and Ts and elbows under real-time control with live video feedback to an operator. The design is that of a segmented actively articulated and wheel-leg powered robot design, with fisheye imaging capability and self-powered battery storage and wireless real-time communication link. The prototype was ... continued below

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Schempf, Hagen & D'Zurko, Daphne October 31, 2004.

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Description

Under funding from the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Northeast Gas Association (NGA), Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) developed an untethered, wireless remote controlled inspection robot dubbed Explorer. The project entailed the design and prototyping of a wireless self-powered video-inspection robot capable of accessing live 6- and 8-inch diameter cast-iron and steel mains, while traversing turns and Ts and elbows under real-time control with live video feedback to an operator. The design is that of a segmented actively articulated and wheel-leg powered robot design, with fisheye imaging capability and self-powered battery storage and wireless real-time communication link. The prototype was functionally tested in an above ground pipe-network, in order to debug all mechanical, electrical and software subsystems, and develop the necessary deployment and retrieval, as well as obstacle-handling scripts. A pressurized natural gas test-section was used to certify it for operation in natural gas at up to 60 psig. Two subsequent live-main field-trials in both cast-iron and steel pipe, demonstrated its ability to be safely launched, operated and retrieved under real-world conditions. The system's ability to safely and repeatably exidrecover from angled and vertical launchers, traverse multi-thousand foot long pipe-sections, make T and varied-angle elbow-turns while wirelessly sending live video and handling command and control messages, was clearly demonstrated. Video-inspection was clearly shown to be a viable tool to understand the state of this critical buried infrastructure, irrespective of low- (cast-iron) or high-pressure (steel) conditions. This report covers the different aspects of specifications, requirements, design, prototyping, integration and testing and field-trialing of the Explorer platform.

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  • Report No.: None
  • Grant Number: FC26-01NT41155
  • DOI: 10.2172/892746 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 892746
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc876334

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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Creation Date

  • October 31, 2004

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Dec. 9, 2016, 6:34 p.m.

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Schempf, Hagen & D'Zurko, Daphne. Long-Range Untethered Real-Time Live Gas Main Robotic Inspection System, report, October 31, 2004; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc876334/: accessed April 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.