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)


(Pipeline Explorer)

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.

Update In the Matrix movies, the Sentinels restlessly search the ductwork underlying the Matrix infrastructure, searching for unwanted elements skulking therein (Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, et al).


(Duct-diving Sentinel robots from The Matrix)

End Update.

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 |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

I Can't Resist Worm Robots
'Seen close it was not completely flexible...' - Harry Harrison, 1962.

TinyMobileRobots Are Sewer Sentinels
Every movie monster gets its start someplace.

Flying Dragon Robot Transforms In Mid-Air
Terrific prototype video.

MXene Hydrogel Skin For Robots Flexes And Senses
'The plastex swam and whirled like boiling toothpaste...' - JG Ballard, 1962.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

North Focals Smart Glasses Provide Augmented Reality In Style
'The world ... is drenched in unfamiliar information all the way to the horizon.'

Tesla Driver Caught Napping Behind The Wheel
'Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...'

Hayabusa 2 To Begin Asteroid Mining
'We must dig down, and then doubtless we shall find the metal.'

Ionocraft Drone Powered By Electrohydrodynamic Thrust
'He saw one hiss by him as he rounded the corner, trailing a short whip antenna...'

Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery
'It may be organic damage. It may be permanent. Time'll tell, and only after you are off Substance D for a long while.'

BloxVox Mutes Cellphone Convos
It's the polite thing to do, and has been the polite thing to do for about four generations.

Superfast Replicator: Volumetric Additive Manufacturing
I can't wait. Bring it on.

DNA May Contain Malware
'You were told to embed the logical pathogen.'

I Can't Resist Worm Robots
'Seen close it was not completely flexible...'

Rplate Digital License Plates Now Legal In Michigan
'Gragg's digital ink license plates ...'

Can Musk Starship Astronauts Use Magnetic Boots?
'Walking awkwardly in the magnetic boots that held him to the black mass of meteoric iron...'

Giant Dolphin Spotted On Jupiter!
'Now at last he could appreciate its real size and complexity...'

Musk's Starship An SF Fan's Dream Come True
Perfect for testing, perfect for fans!

TinyMobileRobots Are Sewer Sentinels
Every movie monster gets its start someplace.

Fishy Facial Recognition Now Possible
'Palenkis can identify random line patterns better than any other species in the universe.'

Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.