Design and Control of a Lightweight Magnetic Climbing Robot for Vessel Inspection

Markus Eich; Thomas Vögele

In: Proceedings of the 19th Mediterranean Conference of Control and Automation. Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation (MED-2011), 19th, June 20-23, Corfu, Greece, Pages 1200-1205, ISBN 978-1-4577-0123-8, 6/2011.


The inspection of marine vessels is currently performed manually. Inspectors use sensors (e.g. cameras, devices for non-destructive testing) to detect damaged areas, cracks, and corrosion in large cargo holds, tanks, and other parts of a ship. Due to the size and complex geometry of most ships, ship inspection is time-consuming and expensive. The EU-funded project MINOAS develops concepts for a Marine Inspection Robotic Assistant System to improve and to automate ship inspections. As one example of a physical system implementation, we introduce our magnetic wall-climbing robot. This remotely operated lightweight system is able to climb a vessels steel frame and is able to deliver visual inspection data on-line. For any type of surveying process, the raw and meta data are mandatory in order to compare inspection data over time. In this paper, we describe our approach of how the magnetic climbing robot is localized and controlled. Additionally, we describe the design of the robot as well as the localization device which is able to provide a real-time 3D pose of the inspection robot.


German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence
Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz