Development of an Inline Robot for Water Quality Monitoring

Saber Kazeminasab, Mohsen Aghashahi, M. Katherine Banks

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Water distribution systems are critical infrastructure that are expected to supply healthy water. Deliberate or accidental incidents such as terrorist attacks or pipe breaks can contaminate potable water in pipelines. Inline mobile sensors are promising solutions which have been designed and developed to monitor water quality and detect leaks in water pipelines. These mobile sensors can move towards the location of contamination or leak and provide more timely and accurate measurements. However, these sensors, which are often free-swimming spheres and move by water flow, have two problems: instability and passiveness. In this research, we designed a robot that stabilizes and automates our previously fabricated spherical mobile sensor. The robot empowers a water utility operator to control the mobile sensor motion in a pressurized environment with a high-speed flow. The robot has three spring-based adjustable arms for stability in pipes with diameters between 22.86 (cm)-9 (in) and 55.88 (cm)-22 (in). Each arm is actuated with a motor and a wheel at its end. The wheels are in contact with a pipe wall, and the motors keep the robot moving. Each motor is customized with a gearhead that provides required torque at its wheel for motion. A lithium battery attached to the sphere supplies electricity for motors and sensors. The proposed design is characterized and prototyped in this paper. To evaluate the controllability and observability of the robot, we have linearized governing equations. Results show the successful performance of the robot in pipes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2020 5th International Conference on Robotics and Automation Engineering, ICRAE 2020
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages106-113
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781728189819
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 20 2020
Event5th International Conference on Robotics and Automation Engineering, ICRAE 2020 - Virtual, Singapore, Singapore
Duration: Nov 20 2020Nov 22 2020

Publication series

Name2020 5th International Conference on Robotics and Automation Engineering, ICRAE 2020

Conference

Conference5th International Conference on Robotics and Automation Engineering, ICRAE 2020
CountrySingapore
CityVirtual, Singapore
Period11/20/2011/22/20

Keywords

  • Actuator module
  • Flexible mechanism
  • In-pipe robots
  • Mobile sensors
  • Water distribution systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Control and Optimization

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