External pipe climbing robot
Climbing Ring Robot for Inspection of Offshore Wind Turbines1st place, Industrial Innovative Robot, highly commanded - Emerald
Pipe climbing robot moving along the tube
Pipe climbing robot rotating on its spot
This robot is a prototype of portable NDT scanning system required to detect internal defects in a wind turbine blades using X-ray tomography technology. A wind generator, it is an enormous steel tower with length of about 150m and about 45m distance between the hub to the end of a wind blade.
This robot is a novel 'ring' climbing robot with a payload capability allowing it to climb around the cylindrical tower and scan the blades in situ with a Cartesian scanning arm. The prototype has three modules which are completely identical and can be easily joined together to climb on any circumferential tube even in a tapering radius. The robot is placed around the tower and it uses spring forces to grip it.
Each module uses two motors, one for the drive motion and the other to turn the angle of the wheel so that the robot climbing trajectory is spiral. The robot has the capability to face the driver wheels in different angles which means that the robot can either climb along the tube, or with a certain pitch angle it can spiral around the tube, or if the wheel is turned through 90 degrees then the robot will not climb but it will rotate around the tube in the same spot. The prototype has been built to a scale 1:10 and tested successfully performing the types of motion: up/down, spiral, and rotation on the spot.
Countries & Year
England, Wales - 2008