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Enabling a Robot for Underwater Surface Cleaning
Örebro University, School of Science and Technology, Örebro University, Sweden.
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Biofouling build-up on submerged structures such as ships, petroleum and gas storage tanks, electric power plants, bridges, oil rigs etc. is a major problem that affects the surface material of the structure, the eventual hydrodynamic quality of the surface and in some cases the efficacy of cooling systems. Underwater cleaning is a solution to maintain submerged structures in order to assure proper functioning for as long as possible. Consequently, there has been an increased interest in the development of new technologies for robotised underwater cleaning systems.

This thesis presents a new concept of a flexible crawling mechanism for an industrial underwater cleaning robot, which is evaluated from the viewpoint of its capability to work underwater, scanning the desired surface, and perform a cleaning task. The main research questions investigated in this thesis are: (1.) how to select the most important features in choosing the platform mechanism to fulfil the surface scanning operation, (2.) how to design the platform in order to bear the forces related to the cleaning task, (3.) how to maintain surface contact throughout cleaning, (4.) determine the significant parameters to be monitored in order to ensure stable positioning on the surface during the cleaning process and (5.) how to develop the control of actuators to realise the locomotion and to follow the desired trajectory.

This thesis begins with a classification and discussion of the available solutions for underwater operation, taking into consideration the benefits and drawbacks, overall efficiency and environmental and human safety issues. From this survey, an underwater mobile robotic platform is designed to address the main requirements and industrial needs. Further, a study and simulation of its mobility and stability on the surface is performed and a complete scenario of the entire cleaning operation is presented. In addition, an overview of the required sensors and the control system is given. Finally, a new robotised system was developed to clean underwater surfaces with minimum active degrees of freedom. A successful simulation and real experimental results were obtained with a simplified lab-scale prototype. The thesis concludes with a summary of future works and outlook for the growing field of underwater cleaning robots.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro University , 2017. , 45 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Technology, ISSN 1650-8580 ; 70
Keyword [en]
underwater robot, underwater cleaning, biofouling, adhesion, locomotion, stability
National Category
Control Engineering
Research subject
Automatic Control
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-55947ISBN: 978-91-7529-150-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-55947DiVA: diva2:1076733
Public defence
2017-03-24, Örebro universitet, Teknikhuset, Hörsal T, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-02-23 Created: 2017-02-23 Last updated: 2017-03-02Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Underwater Robotics: Surface Cleaning Technics, Adhesion and Locomotion Systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Underwater Robotics: Surface Cleaning Technics, Adhesion and Locomotion Systems
2016 (English)In: International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems, ISSN 1729-8806, E-ISSN 1729-8814, Vol. 13, 7Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Underwater robots are being developed for various applications ranging from inspection to maintenance and cleaning of submerged surfaces and constructions. These platforms should be able to travel on these surfaces. Furthermore, these platforms should adapt and reconfigure for underwater environment conditions and should be autonomous. Regarding the adhesion to the surface, they should produce a proper attaching force using a light-weight technics. Taking these facts into consideration, this paper presents a survey of different technologies used for underwater cleaning and the available underwater robotics solutions for the locomotion and the adhesion to surfaces.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
INTECH, 2016
Keyword
Underwater Robot, Underwater Cleaning, Bio-fouling, Adhesion, Locomotion
National Category
Computer Science
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-47813 (URN)10.5772/62060 (DOI)000368630700001 ()2-s2.0-85002271299 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2016-01-28 Created: 2016-01-28 Last updated: 2017-03-02Bibliographically approved
2. New concept of in-water surface cleaning robot
Open this publication in new window or tab >>New concept of in-water surface cleaning robot
2013 (English)In: Mechatronics and Automation (ICMA), 2013 IEEE International Conference onDate 4-7 Aug. 2013, IEEE conference proceedings, 2013, 1582-1587 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper introduces a new concept of flexible crawling mechanism to design an industrial underwater cleaning robot, which is evaluated from the viewpoint of the capability to work underwater, scanning the desired surface, and bearing the reactions. This can be used as a robotic application in underwater surface cleaning and maintenance. We designed a robot that realizes the motion by contraction and extraction using DC-motors and vacuum technology. In this study we first focused on realizing the adhesion, bearing reactions, and achieving a stable locomotion on the surface.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE conference proceedings, 2013
Keyword
climbing robot; inspection
National Category
Computer Science
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-30340 (URN)10.1109/ICMA.2013.6618150 (DOI)000335375900267 ()2-s2.0-84887901379 (Scopus ID)978-1-4673-5557-5 (ISBN)
Conference
2013 IEEE International Conference on Mechatronics and Automation (ICMA), 4-7 aug. 2013, Takamatsu, Japan
Available from: 2013-08-27 Created: 2013-08-27 Last updated: 2017-03-02Bibliographically approved
3. In-water surface cleaning robot: concept, locomotion and stability
Open this publication in new window or tab >>In-water surface cleaning robot: concept, locomotion and stability
2014 (English)In: International Journal of Mechatronics and Automation, ISSN 2045-1067, Vol. 4, no 2, 104-115 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper introduces a new concept of flexible crawling mechanism in the design ofindustrial in-water cleaning robot, which is evaluated from the viewpoint of work and operationon an underwater surface. It enables the scanning and cleaning process performed by water jets,while keeping stable robot position on the surface by its capacity to bear and compensate the jetreactions. Such robotic platform can be used for cleaning and maintenance of various underwatersurfaces, including moving ships in the open sea. The designed robot implements its motions bycontraction and expansion of legged mechanism using standard motors and suction cupstechnology. In this study we focus at the conditions for achieving enough adhesion for keepingcontinuous contact between the robot and the surface and robot stability in different situations forthe basic locomotions.

Keyword
underwater robot, crawling robot, underwater surface cleaning
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-35987 (URN)10.1504/IJMA.2014.062338 (DOI)000335375900267 ()2-s2.0-84904859302 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2014-08-19 Created: 2014-08-19 Last updated: 2017-03-02Bibliographically approved
4. Stability study of underwater crawling robot on non-horizontal surface
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Stability study of underwater crawling robot on non-horizontal surface
2014 (English)In: Mobile Service Robotics: Clawar 2014: 17th International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots and the Support Technologies for Mobile Machines: Poznan, Poland 21 - 23 July 2014, Singapore: World Scientific, 2014, 511-519 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper introduces a study of a concept of exible crawling mechanism todesign an industrial underwater cleaning robot, which is evaluated from theviewpoint of the capability to work underwater, scanning the desired surface,and bearing the reactions. This can be used as a robotic application in under-water surface cleaning and maintenance. In this study we focused on realizingthe adhesion on the surface in stationary and in motion, bearing reactions,enabling the needed locomotion types for scanning, and achieving the stabilityin dierent situations on the surface.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Singapore: World Scientific, 2014
Keyword
Crawling robot, underwater, locomotion, stability
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-35985 (URN)000342693100061 ()2-s2.0-85007347787 (Scopus ID)978-981-4623-34-6 (ISBN)
Conference
Clawar 2014: 17th International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots CLAWAR, Poznan, Poland, 21 - 23 July, 2014
Available from: 2014-08-19 Created: 2014-08-19 Last updated: 2017-03-07Bibliographically approved
5. Layered mission control architecture and strategy for crawling underwater cleaning robot
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Layered mission control architecture and strategy for crawling underwater cleaning robot
2015 (English)In: International Journal of Mechatronics and Automation, ISSN 2045-1059, Vol. 5, no 2/3, 114-124 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents the mechanical design and the control system architecture of anunderwater robot, developed for bio-fouling cleaning surfaces. The robotic system presented herehas been designed to improve the productivity, reduce the environmental impacts, and excludethe hazards for the operators. The control system has a layered structure which is distributed intotwo blocks: cleaning robot, and on-board base station connected with power and control cablesand a water hose, to facilitate different modes of operations and to increase the system reliability.A low level control has been implemented on the robotic platform. The onboard station designedto be in different layers of the control system: manual, semiautonomous and autonomous modes.A scaled prototype has been implemented and tested to prove the concept, and to make certainthat the mechanical design and the chosen control system are perfectly suited to the mainfunctions of the robotic system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
InderScience Publishers, 2015
Keyword
underwater robots, layered control system, crawling robots, bio-fouling cleaning
National Category
Computer Science
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-49753 (URN)10.1504/IJMA.2015.075957 (DOI)2-s2.0-84973596360 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2016-04-11 Created: 2016-04-11 Last updated: 2017-03-02Bibliographically approved

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