The purpose of the project is to design and build a wireless wall climbing robot for our client, Dr. Jason Gu, of the Dalhousie Electrical Department. The robot is to be used by Imperial Oil Ltd. for the purpose of examining corrosion and other problem areas on the exterior of large steel oil tanks.
Our mechanical design team is responsible for constructing the mechanical aspects of the robot. Senior year students from the Electrical Department will be designing and assembling the robot controller and will also decide what types of sensors will go on the robot.
Currently, there are a couple of methods used for examining problem areas on steel tanks. The most primitive method is to erect scaffolding and send up a technician to manually run tests of the area. This method is both time consuming and somewhat dangerous for the technician.
Another method involves using a tethered inspection robot. The tether provides both power and communication for the robot, as well as a water supply when eddy current tests are being carried out. This tether limits the robots effectiveness in terms of navigation, overall distance the robot can travel, and also adds a considerable amount of weight to be overall weight of the robot.
Our team intends to design a wireless robot that employs batteries to power all aspects of the robot including motors, controller, and sensors. A network router will be mounted on the robot, allowing communication with the robot controllers via any personal computer with network capability. This will allow the technician to control the robot, troubleshoot, and receive real time data from sensors.
Source: Dalhousie University
Author: Michael Noel | Brian Brown | Gavin Mills | William Matheson