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(Robotics) Robotic Cable Inspectoin System

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posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 05:53 PM
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A very cool development from the boys, girls (and whatever
else there is) from the UW.



Few successful robot applications have been reported for underground
distribution cables.
Numerous problems have to be solved for this type of robot, such as
space confinement, size and weight restrictions, wireless design requi-
rements, and adverse environmental conditions.
Some problems are addressed below.

The control strategy:
It includes failure tracking, collision avoidance, and path planning.
The control system receives initial commands from the operator for
the global tasks, and small tasks are carried out automatically.

The signal-processing algorithm:
The robot requires considerable computational resources to be
adaptive and flexible.
This is highly problematic because of the limited size of the robot, espe-
cially for underground applications.
It also involves allocation between local and remote signal processing.

Distributed signal-processing:
In order to solve the problem of allocation between local and remote
signal processing, the digital signal processor (DSP) board is intro-
duced into the local robot system.
The high performance of the DSP board collaborating with a 14 bits,
8MSPS analog-to-digital converter makes the local preliminary signal
processing possible. An algorithm to sample and analyze data from
the acoustic sensor is implmented to detect partial discharges.




SOURCE:
University of Washington


A very cool robot, and honestly something that should prove to
be quite useful.

By the way, since without looking elsewhere it's not obvious ex-
actly what this robot does, it is a system for detecting failures
and faults in underground power cables.


Comments, Opinions?

[edit on 1/8/2007 by iori_komei]




posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 11:19 PM
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There is no market for these robots. There are better robots in the pipeline industry: pigs. That's where the market is at, as well as of course manufacturing. If the UW people could find away to take a pig or manufacturing robot and assimilate for the purpose of cable inspection at an economic cost (duh), that's where the big bucks lie.



posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 11:34 PM
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Originally posted by Soitenly
There is no market for these robots. There are better robots in the pipeline industry: pigs. That's where the market is at, as well as of course manufacturing. If the UW people could find away to take a pig or manufacturing robot and assimilate for the purpose of cable inspection at an economic cost (duh), that's where the big bucks lie.


I disagreee, underground power cabling is'nt always very accessible
to people, so a robot that could rubn along the cable would be faster
and more efficient.



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 01:14 AM
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That's fine, but why are there not robots that do this already or are there robots that do this already? I mean, if a robot can get to it, wouldn't a person at least have to be able to get to the cable?

And how could it possibly be faster?



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 06:57 PM
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Originally posted by Soitenly
That's fine, but why are there not robots that do this already or are there robots that do this already? I mean, if a robot can get to it, wouldn't a person at least have to be able to get to the cable?

And how could it possibly be faster?


Because only in the last decade has robotics started to take off,
since new technology and smaller, faster and more powerful
computers are available.

Yes, people can get to them, but they have to crawl through
tunnels if they're in them, that or dig them up in suspected
problem areas.


A robot could run along the cables, without having to wait for
each section to be opened up.



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 11:04 PM
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Computers consume a great deal of energy and are expensive to build in the first place. Faster work periods will not compensate for the cost. And if the tunnels are hard to access in the first place, I can imagine it will be greatly more difficult to have people lower a robot into the tunnel. It sounds like a great deal of work, and sounds like a great deal of work to acocomplish a boyhood dream.

I don't think the people at UW are kidding themselves, but this is just a PR stunt.



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 11:16 PM
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Originally posted by Soitenly
Computers consume a great deal of energy and are expensive to build in the first place. Faster work periods will not compensate for the cost. And if the tunnels are hard to access in the first place, I can imagine it will be greatly more difficult to have people lower a robot into the tunnel. It sounds like a great deal of work, and sounds like a great deal of work to acocomplish a boyhood dream.

I don't think the people at UW are kidding themselves, but this is just a PR stunt.


Not really, computers don't consume a great deal of energy to run,
and microcips cost less than 10 cents a piece.

The robots themselves are'nt the ones doing the fixing, what they
are doing is the checking of the cables for problems.

If you wanted to have a person do that, it would take a great deal
longer.

Or considerit like this.
It takes two hours and $15,000 to check one section.
Now, what's the better option, to dig one or two at the most, or dig
several dozen holes.

The robot would only need the one or two holes in general, while
the people would need dozens if they were to check it themselves.


And the UW does'nt generally do publicity stunts, they have no
reason to, they have alot of funding, and alot of good researchers.



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