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Journal cover: Industrial Robot: An International Journal

Industrial Robot: An International Journal

ISSN: 0143-991X

Online from: 1973

Subject Area: Mechanical & Materials Engineering

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Development of an autonomous in-pipe robot for offshore pipeline maintenance


Document Information:
Title:Development of an autonomous in-pipe robot for offshore pipeline maintenance
Author(s):Zhongwei Wang, (Research Institute of Robotics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China), Qixin Cao, (Institute of Welding Engineering, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China), Nan Luan, (Institute of Welding Engineering, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China), Lei Zhang, (Institute of Welding Engineering, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China)
Citation:Zhongwei Wang, Qixin Cao, Nan Luan, Lei Zhang, (2010) "Development of an autonomous in-pipe robot for offshore pipeline maintenance", Industrial Robot: An International Journal, Vol. 37 Iss: 2, pp.177 - 184
Keywords:Inspection, Intelligent sensors, Maintenance, Pipelines, Robotics, Ultrasonic devices
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/01439911011018957 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:This work was supported by National “863” High Technology Research and Development Program of China (2001AA602021) and partially by Natural Science Foundation of China (50705054).
Abstract:

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop a novel autonomous in-pipe robot to perform the preventive point reparation for long-distance offshore oil pipelines.

Design/methodology/approach – The autonomous in-pipe robot performs online ultrasonic inspection for pipe wall thickness, and the original inspection data are stored in large capacity hard disk. Through the offline data analysis by the data analysts and the software tool, the pipeline health status is known. If server defects lie there, the in-pipe robot is introduced into the pipeline once more to indicate the defect's location to the maintenance ship.

Findings – The laboratory tests and the field tests prove the feasibility and validity of the developed autonomous in-pipe robot. Furthermore, the application of intelligent control techniques ensures the mission completion by the autonomous in-pipe robot, which worked in the awful pipeline environment.

Practical implications – The developed autonomous in-pipe robot helps eliminate lost production costs and pipeline downtime caused by leakages and guarantees the safe run of offshore oil pipelines.

Originality/value – For the application of the autonomous in-pipe robot, there are no special requirements for maintained pipelines themselves, so it is applicable to the point reparation for most long-distance welded offshore pipelines.



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