Scandinavian scientists designing robotic snakes
With the ability to climb vertically, intelligent robots could inspect oil and water pipelines
It's true. The Sintef Group, a research company based in Trondheim, Norway, announced that it's designing a robot based on … well, snakes.
The 1.5-meter long robots, which are made of aluminum, are being designed to inspect and clean complicated industrial pipe systems that are typically narrow and inaccessible to humans. The intelligent robots have multiple joints to enable them to twist vertically and climb up through pipe systems to locate leaks in water systems, inspect oil and gas pipelines and clean ventilation systems.
"Combined with our algorithms, the robot will be able to navigate and move forward on its own," said Jens Thielemann, a project manager at Sintef, in a statement. "The robot knows when a left or right turn is approaching and also contains a built-in path description detailing what tasks it should carry out in different situations."
Sintef noted in a report that the company is working on a prototype of a robot with a long, narrow body. With 10 to 11 joints, each with a corresponding set of plastic wheels, the robots are being designed to climb and navigate intersections and be constantly aware of its location in pipes that can be as small as 20 centimeters in diameter.
The robot is designed to have a camera attached and move around the pipe following a pre-programmed map. Thielemann noted in the report that they are working on using the vision system to help the robot navigate itself through the maze of pipes.
"The robot will function as a train when operating horizontally," he added. "Such robots already exist, but we want to develop a robot that can climb too."
When the robot enters a vertical pipe, Sintef reports that it lifts its head and meets the pipe wall. It then can move sideways with its abdomen against the pipe and twist itself upwards. It also has the option of being able to attach itself to the pipe wall and then roll upward.
The company hopes to have a working prototype ready for testing by the end of the year.
Read more about Hardware in Computerworld's Hardware Topic Center.
- Ten Factors Shaping the Future of Application Delivery Download this research report conducted by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) to learn how those that are seeking to accelerate application delivery are leveraging...
- Using Continuous Delivery to Improve Software Delivery Learn more about the challenges impacting organizations and how continuous delivery processes can be a key success factor in accelerating software delivery.
- Global Bank Improves Quality of Application Development Read how this financial institution centralized build assets, cut development time in half and added additional security controls.
- HTTP Status Code Cheat Sheet Look at the Graph, Find the Code and Boom - You're Solving Problems. Identifying and understanding common HTTP status codes can go a...
- Cloud BI in Action: Recorded Webinar of Customer, Kony, Inc. See how Kony, Inc., a leading enterprise mobility company, is using TIBCO Jaspersoft for Amazon Web Services and Redshift to achieve embedded analytics...
- Cloud BI Overview: Jaspersoft for AWS Check out this overview of Jaspersoft for AWS, to easily and affordably build business intelligence solutions as well as embed visualizations and analytics... All App Development White Papers | Webcasts