Design of a Wall-Scaling Robot for Inspection and Maintenance
This paper describes the design of a new wall-scaling robot for the inspection and maintenance of various structures, such as aircraft, or nuclear power plants is. This robot is capable of climbing straight or curved surfaces in two directions, up/down or left/right in strokes of 55 millimeters. The load carrying capability of this robot is about 100 kilograms. Thus, it can carry a variety of non-destructive testing devices for inspection, paint removal, and de-riveting devices for maintenance. The robot uses vacuum suction cups for sticking to the surface of an object and can be integrated with a vision sensor system for guidance and visual inspection. The positioning of the robot is achieved by the use of a joy-stick or a PC computer. With this portable robot, it is possible to a) inspect areas that are within easy reach, b) program the robot to follow a specified path while inspecting or maintaining the structures, and c) remotely guide it to desired locations. This robotic system will minimize human error, increase the productivity of an inspector, and reduce the cost of inspection and maintenance.
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