UTS site search

CAS research

Development of a Deployable Climbing Robot for the SHB Inspection and Condition Assessment

Loading Video...

Direct YouTube link here.

Funded by an ARC Linkage Project, UTS and RMS of NSW have been collaborating on research and development of biologically inspired robots for steel bridge inspection and condition assessment from 2010 to 2013. This research has addressed the research challenges and developed methodologies, including methods and algorithms for sensing, exploration, 3D map building, collision avoidance, control and robot design, that enables a climbing robot to navigate in steel bridge structures, collect bridge condition data and conduct condition assessment. A lot of engineering challenges has also been addressed including the design of the 7DOF inchworm robot and a novel adhesion pad. A prototype climbing robot has been developed and tested in field trials.

The project “Development of a Deployable Climbing Robot for the SHB Inspection and Condition Assessment” is Stage 2 of this research with the objective of developing one practically deployable climbing robot for the SHB inspection and condition assessment. This robot is expected to:

  1. be capable of navigating in the complex bridge structure and areas which are difficult for human workers to access (e.g. box girder structure)
  2. acquire information to facilitate condition assessment of steel bridge structures while greatly reducing the associated occupational health and safety risks
  3. be robust and reliable
  4. be easy to set up and relocate on a steel bridge

Chief Investigators

Partner Investigators

  • Palitha Manamperi
  • Philip Brooks
  • Waruna Kaluarachichi
  • Peter Mann, et al.

Other Members

Funding

  • Roads and Maritime Services (NSW)

Year

  • 2014–2015

Patent

  • P. Ward, D.K.Liu, “Adhesion system for a climbing vehicle”, Australian Patent application number: 2013902595, filed 12 July 2013.

Media 

Awards

  • 2015 Asia Pacific ICT Alliance (APICTA) Award in the Industry Application Category, "Bio-Inspired Autonomous Climbing Robot - A Revolutionary ICT Solution to Inspection and Maintenance of Steel Structures"
  • 2015 SafeWork NSW Awards for the best solution to an identified workplace health and safety issue, "Bridge inspection robot", RMS of NSW and UTS
  • 2015 iAwards National Merit Award in the New Product Category, "Biologically Inspired Climbing Robot", UTS and RMS of NSW
  • 2015 iAwards New South Wales Merit Award in the New Product Category, "Biologically Inspired Climbing Robot", UTS and RMS of NSW

Functionalities and Features

Functionalities and Features_low.jpg

Timeline

Timeline(down)_.jpg

Conceptual Designs

RobotVersions_simulations_low.jpg

Evolution of Robot Designs

Evolution of Robot Designs_low.jpg

Evolution of Adhesion Footpad Design

Footpads_low.jpg

Relevant Publications

  1. D.K. Liu, G. Dissanayake, J. Valls Miro, K.J. Waldron (2014), “Infrastructure Robotics: Research Challenges and Opportunities”, Proceedings of the 31st International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction and Mining (ISARC 2014), 9-11 July 2014, Sydney, Australia, pp43-49
  2. Phillip Quin, Gavin Paul, Dikai Liu, Alen Alempijevic (2013), “Nearest Neighbour Exploration with Backtracking for Robotic Exploration of Complex 3D Environments”, Proceedings of Australasian Conference on Robotics and Automation, 2-4 Dec 2013, University of New South Wales, Sydney Australia, 8 pages
  3. P. Ward, D.K. Liu, K. Waldron and M. Hasan (2013), “Optimal Design of a Magnetic Adhesion System for Climbing Robots”, Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots (CLAWAR), 14-17 July 2013, pp375-382
  4. P. Quin, G. Paul, A. Alempijevic, D.K. Liu, G. Dissanayake (2013), “Efficient Neighbourhood-Based Information Gain Approach for Exploration of Complex 3D Environments”, Proceedings of the 2013 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Karlsruhe, Germany, May 6-10, 2013, pp1335-1340
  5. D. Pagano, D.K. Liu, K. Waldron (2012), “A method for optimal design of an inchworm climbing robot”, Proceedings of the 2012 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics (ROBIO), December 11-14, 2012, Guangzhou, China, pp1293-1298
  6. P. Ward, D.K. Liu (2012), “Design of a high capacity electro permanent magnetic adhesion for climbing robots”, Proceedings of the 2012 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics (ROBIO), December 11-14, 2012, Guangzhou, China, pp217-222
  7. A. Lozano, G. Peters, D.K Liu and K. Waldron (2011), “Study of ant locomotion in surface transitions for climbing robot design”, Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots and the Support Technologies for Mobile Machines (CLAWAR2011), September 6-8, 2011, Paris, France, pp173-180
  8. A. Lozano, G. Peters and D.K. Liu (2011), “Analysis of an arthropodal system for design of a climbing robot”, Proceedings of the 28th International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction (ISARC 2011), 29 June - 2 July, 2011, Seoul, Korea, pp832-838
  9. G. Peters, D. Pagano, D.K. Liu and K. Waldron (2010), “A prototype climbing robot for inspection of complex ferrous structures”, Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots and the Support Technologies for Mobile Machines (CLAWAR'2010), pp150-156, 31 August - 03 September 2010, Nagoya, Japan