Design considerations of robotic system for cleaning and inspection of large-diameter sewers
Article first published online: 18 DEC 2011
Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Field Robotics
Special Issue: Applied Robotics for the Power Industry
Volume 29, Issue 1, pages 186–214, January/February 2012
How to Cite
Walter, C., Saenz, J., Elkmann, N., Althoff, H., Kutzner, S. and Stuerze, T. (2012), Design considerations of robotic system for cleaning and inspection of large-diameter sewers. J. Field Robotics, 29: 186–214. doi: 10.1002/rob.20428
- Issue published online: 18 DEC 2011
- Article first published online: 18 DEC 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 6 SEP 2011
- Manuscript Received: 15 FEB 2011
On behalf of the Emschergenossenschaft, a public wastewater utility based in Essen, Germany, the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation (IFF) in Magdeburg has developed a novel robotic system, the damage measuring and cleaning system (SVM-RS), for cleaning and inspecting large-diameter sewers that are partially filled and in normal operation. The SVM-RS was specifically designed and built for use in the Emscher sewer system and employs a multisensor approach for a high-resolution inspection of the pipe, both above and below the water. Furthermore, robotics technologies are used in combination with traditional high-pressure cleaning techniques to achieve high-quality cleaning results. In addition to the hardware design, a number of software developments in the areas of software architecture, image processing, and data fusion for understanding and presenting the data, as well as teleoperation techniques, have been carried out in the course of the project. Here automatic detection of damage as well as other features present in the environment has proven to be of importance. Design considerations and solutions for individual components of the cleaning and inspection are described within the context of the whole system, and the results of specific tests and experiments are presented. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.