This study presents an optimization approach for the design of a piping inspection robot. A rigid bio-inspired piping inspection robot that moves like a caterpillar was designed and developed at LS2N, France. By the addition of tensegrity mechanisms between the motor modules, the mobile robot becomes flexible to pass through the bends. However, the existing motor units prove to be oversized for passing through pipe bends at 90 deg. Thus, three cascading optimization problems are presented in this article to determine the sizing of robot assembly that can overcome such pipe bends. The first problem deals with the identification of design parameters of the tensegrity mechanism based on static stability. Followed by that, in the second problem, the optimum design parameters of the robot modules are determined for the robot assembly without the presence of leg mechanisms. The third problem deals with the determination of the size of the leg mechanism for the results of the two previous optimization problems. A digital model of the optimized robot assembly is then realized using cad software.
Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics Open Issues