Publication

A Hybrid Legged Wheel Climbing Robot for Marine Inspection

Thomas Vögele, Markus Eich, Felix Grimminger, Kristin Fondahl

In: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots and the Support Technologies for Mobile Machines. International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots and the Support Technologies for Mobile Machines (CLAWAR-10) August 31-September 3 Nagoya Japan 9/2010.

Abstract

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 automate ship inspection. A central part of MINOAS is to evaluate the use of a cooperative fleet of robots, including areal drones, magnetic climbing robots, and underwater crawlers, for ship inspection. In this paper we describe a first concept for one component of the MINOAS robot fleet, a magnetic crawler for the inspection of large cargo holds and large tanks. We show how a light-weight system using magnetic wheels (including hybrid leg-wheels) and a passive magnetic tail can successfully climb tall metallic walls and overcome small obstacles.

German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence
Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz