Utilize este identificador para referenciar este registo: http://hdl.handle.net/10400.22/4112
Título: A survey of technologies and applications for climbing robots locomotion and adhesion
Autor: Silva, Manuel F.
Machado, J. A. Tenreiro
Data: 2010
Editora: InTech
Relatório da Série N.º: Climbing and Walking Robots; Cap. 1
Resumo: The interest in the development of climbing robots has grown rapidly in the last years. Climbing robots are useful devices that can be adopted in a variety of applications, such as maintenance and inspection in the process and construction industries. These systems are mainly adopted in places where direct access by a human operator is very expensive, because of the need for scaffolding, or very dangerous, due to the presence of an hostile environment. The main motivations are to increase the operation efficiency, by eliminating the costly assembly of scaffolding, or to protect human health and safety in hazardous tasks. Several climbing robots have already been developed, and other are under development, for applications ranging from cleaning to inspection of difficult to reach constructions. A wall climbing robot should not only be light, but also have large payload, so that it may reduce excessive adhesion forces and carry instrumentations during navigation. These machines should be capable of travelling over different types of surfaces, with different inclinations, such as floors, walls, or ceilings, and to walk between such surfaces (Elliot et al. (2006); Sattar et al. (2002)). Furthermore, they should be able of adapting and reconfiguring for various environment conditions and to be self-contained. Up to now, considerable research was devoted to these machines and various types of experimental models were already proposed (according to Chen et al. (2006), over 200 prototypes aimed at such applications had been developed in the world by the year 2006). However, we have to notice that the application of climbing robots is still limited. Apart from a couple successful industrialized products, most are only prototypes and few of them can be found in common use due to unsatisfactory performance in on-site tests (regarding aspects such as their speed, cost and reliability). Chen et al. (2006) present the main design problems affecting the system performance of climbing robots and also suggest solutions to these problems. The major two issues in the design of wall climbing robots are their locomotion and adhesion methods. With respect to the locomotion type, four types are often considered: the crawler, the wheeled, the legged and the propulsion robots. Although the crawler type is able to move relatively faster, it is not adequate to be applied in rough environments. On the other hand, the legged type easily copes with obstacles found in the environment, whereas generally its speed is lower and requires complex control systems. Regarding the adhesion to the surface, the robots should be able to produce a secure gripping force using a light-weight mechanism. The adhesion method is generally classified into four groups: suction force, magnetic, gripping to the surface and thrust force type. Nevertheless, recently new methods for assuring the adhesion, based in biological findings, were proposed. The vacuum type principle is light and easy to control though it presents the problem of supplying compressed air. An alternative, with costs in terms of weight, is the adoption of a vacuum pump. The magnetic type principle implies heavy actuators and is used only for ferromagnetic surfaces. The thrust force type robots make use of the forces developed by thrusters to adhere to the surfaces, but are used in very restricted and specific applications. Bearing these facts in mind, this chapter presents a survey of different applications and technologies adopted for the implementation of climbing robots locomotion and adhesion to surfaces, focusing on the new technologies that are recently being developed to fulfill these objectives. The chapter is organized as follows. Section two presents several applications of climbing robots. Sections three and four present the main locomotion principles, and the main "conventional" technologies for adhering to surfaces, respectively. Section five describes recent biological inspired technologies for robot adhesion to surfaces. Section six introduces several new architectures for climbing robots. Finally, section seven outlines the main conclusions.
Peer review: yes
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10400.22/4112
ISBN: 978-953-307-030-8
Versão do Editor: http://www.intechopen.com/books/howtoreference/climbing-and-walking-robots/a-survey-of-technologies-and-applications-for-climbing-robots-locomotion-and-adhesion
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