Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Body Robot Designed To Investigate Gas Pipes

Osaka Gas Co. and Osaka University have teamed up to develop a robot that can inspect the inside of gas pipes, eliminating the need and expense of tearing up roads. It’s the first time a gas company in Japan has developed an inspection robot that can freely travel through gas pipes.

With the development of a robot that moves through pipes and sends images from inside the pipes, it will be possible to pinpoint worn-out sections and quickly fix them. The robot is being jointly developed by Osaka Gas and Koichi Osuka, a professor at Osaka University’s Graduate School of Engineering. The robot has a spring body formed by a spiral of stainless steel with a small motor and tires. It will measure just 17 centimeters across and 1 meter long. The spring will push against the inside of the pipe as the robot moves forward, and it can smoothly pass pipe joints and turns too.

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