A pair of autonomous microcontroller-based robots were designed, built, and tested to inspect the inside of an 8 in pipe. The pair consists of a “scout” which travels along the inside of the pipe and scans the surface for holes using an array of touch sensors. Once a hole is found, the “scout” communicates the position of the hole to a second “mule” robot that has an on-board sealant dispensing system. After the scout moves out of the way, the mule moves to the hole location and dispenses sealant to seal the hole. Both robots are controlled by a BASIC Stamp microcontroller and propelled by servomotor driven wheels in response to sensor input. Communication is accomplished using wireless RF transceiver boards. This paper discusses the design, build, and test of these cooperative robots; the problems encountered, and how these problems were solved in order to successfully meet the project requirements of creating a two robot system that could find and simulate the sealing of holes in pipes.
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Autonomous Pipe Searching Robots
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Renzi, AD, & Walter, WW. "Autonomous Pipe Searching Robots." Proceedings of the 2002 4th International Pipeline Conference. 4th International Pipeline Conference, Parts A and B. Calgary, Alberta, Canada. September 29–October 3, 2002. pp. 199-204. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/IPC2002-27383
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