A Hybrid Legged Wheel Climbing Robot for Marine Inspection
In Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots and the Support Technologies for Mobile Machines, (CLAWAR-10), 31.8.-03.9.2010, Nagoya, o.A., Sep/2010.
The inspection of marine vessels is currently performed manually. Inspectors use sensors (e.g. cameras, devices for non-destructive testing) to detect damaged areas, cracks, and corrosion in large cargo holds, tanks, and other parts of a ship. Due to the size and complex geometry of most ships, ship inspection is time-consuming and expensive. The EU funded project MINOAS develops concepts for a Marine Inspection Robotic Assistant System to improve and automate ship inspection. A central part of MINOAS is to evaluate the use of a cooperative fleet of robots, including areal drones, magnetic climbing robots, and underwater crawlers, for ship inspection. In this paper we describe a first concept for one component of the MINOAS robot fleet, a magnetic crawler for the inspection of large cargo holds and large tanks. We show how a light-weight system using magnetic wheels (including hybrid leg-wheels) and a passive magnetic tail can successfully climb tall metallic walls and overcome small obstacles.
Hybrid Leg-Wheel Locomotion, Magnetic Climber, Marine Inspection