Hunt, D, Hussein, M, Stewart, C, Dissanayake, G, Valls Miro, J, Olson, J & Rossi, R 2018, 'Rapid Response Non-Destructive Inspection Robot for Condition Assessment of Critical Water Mains', ACRA 2018 Website proceedings, Australasian Conference on Robotics and Automation, ARAA, Lincoln University, New Zealand, pp. 1-7.
This paper presents a robotic system that is
able to rapidly assess the wall thickness of a cement lined cast iron (CI) water main pipe during the short time interval between a pipe failure and its repair. Wall thickness measurement
through a cement lining of unknown depth is
achieved using a sensor based on the pulsed
eddy current (PEC) technique. Sensor geometry is selected such that remaining wall thickness' up to 20mm can be reliably measured. A
six arm mechanism incorporating inbuilt compliance allows contact between the sensors and
cement lining to be maintained even when the
cement lining thickness is non-uniform; which
is typically the case with in-situ lined pipes.
A cart capable of navigating debris and steps
transports the sensing mechanism through the
pipe and also ensures it is positioned concentrically within a range of pipe sizes. Descriptions
of the sensing strategy, sensor mechanism, driving cart and the robot control system are presented together with results from actual in-field
pipe deployments to demonstrate effectiveness
of the developed system.