Pipeline Explorer Untethered Robotic Snake
Pipeline Explorer, the first untethered robot used to inspect underground natural gas distribution pipelines was introduced by the NREC.
(Pipeline Explorer robotic)
The Pipeline Explorer is controlled via wireless link and uses only its on-board batteries for power. It is used to provide efficient inspections replacing tethered systems that push/pull the inspection device through no more than 200 feet of pipe at a time. For pipelines measuring miles in extent, the Pipeline Explorer provides a cost-effective alternative. Here are some robot details:
The robotís architecture is symmetric. A seven-element articulated body design houses a mirror-image arrangement of locomotor/camera modules, battery carrying modules, and locomotor support modules, with a computing and electronics module in the middle. The robotís computer and electronics are protected in purged and pressurized housings. Articulated joints connect each module to the next. The locomotor modules are connected to their neighbors with pitch-roll joints, while the others are connected via pitch-only joints. These specially designed joints allow orientation of the robot within the pipe, in any direction needed.
The locomotor module houses a mini fish-eye camera, along with its lens and lighting elements. The camera has a 190-degree field of view and provides high-resolution color images of the pipeís interior. The locomotor module also houses dual drive actuators designed to allow for the deployment and retraction of three legs equipped with custom-molded driving wheels. The robot can sustain speeds of up to four inches per second. However, inspection speeds are typically lower than that in order for the operator to obtain an image that can be processed.
(From the Pipeline Explorer functional overview)
This must be the year of the snakebot. A few weeks ago, Anna Konda the robotic firehose burst on the scene. Also, don't miss the earlier Snakebot Roundup, with descriptions of five remarkable serpentine robots.
As far as I know, the earliest mention of a snakelike robot in science fiction is the 1985 digger worm.
Find out more about the Pipeline Explorer.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/6/2006)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion (Back On) ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
CurvACE Artificial Compound Insect Eye
'...transmitting to its manipulator, far away now, all that it ... saw with its minute vision tubes.'- Raymond Z. Gallun, 1936.
MIT Robot Cheetah Video Shows Gait Transition
'The legs are long, curled way up to deliver power, like a cheetah's.'- Neal Stephenson, 1992.
Drosophila Robotica, The Mechanical Fly
'... the Scarab [flying robot] buzzed into the great workroom as any intruding insect might...'- Raymond Z. Gallun, 1936.
Robo-Raven Flapping Wing Robot Bird
'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.'- Philip E. High, 1968.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Hungry? Grow Nutritious Insects At Home
'...I balked when my wife served me termites.'
Snowboarding On Mars? Heinlein Was Ready
How long ago did Robert Heinlein write about skiing on dry alien worlds?
Orwell's '1984' Hits Bestseller Lists Thanks To PRISM
'There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment.'
Roboroach Control? There's An App For That
'A cable, here, from the controller to the interface plug... wires from that to the brain.'
Court OK's DNA Collection Like 'Gattaca'
DNA sampling is not the same as fingerprinting.
Squid Vs. Whale Diorama Liked By Humans, Aliens
'Everything was ready, awaiting the Overlords' pleasure...'
Iceberg Harvesting Off Newfoundland's Coast
'Five hundred billion gallons worth of Antarctic iceberg had been towed into Santa Monica Bay.'
Sony's A4-Sized Flexible Digital Paper Notepad
'...he would plug his foolscap-sized Newspad into the ship's information circuit and scan the latest reports...'
Contact Lens Video Display Electronics Now Transparent
'He realized that it was not quite a clear lens. Speckles of colored brightness swirled and gathered in it...'
Tesla's Supercharge Station Plan
'To recharge the batteries, which can be done in almost every town and village...'
Millimeter-Scale Computing For 'Internet of Things'
'In their megalomania they thought to make the very sand beneath their feet intelligent...'
Your Own Handheld Biosensor
'I'm gonna do a hand-held Boink, real quick,' Littleberry said'
DARPA's Warrior Web
'Earth's scientists solved the problem to some extent by devising rigid metallic clothing not unlike armor...'
Chris Hadfield, Space Oddity And Space Lawyers
'Had incorporated himself, in fact, under the laws of Vesta.'
Oceanwings For Underwater Human Flight
'He flexed his legs, the massive flukes thrust back jerkily in response...'
CurvACE Artificial Compound Insect Eye
'...transmitting to its manipulator, far away now, all that it ... saw with its minute vision tubes.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories