28 March 2014 Dual-durometer soft suction foot robot for concrete inspection
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Abstract
Climbing on concrete, masonry and brick with automated machines is difficult due to the uneven surfaces that prevent getting a good grip. This paper describes developments in using dual-durometer pneumatic suction feet for gripping onto concrete surfaces as part of a multi-legged robotic climbing system for inspecting concrete structures with vertical walls. The dual durometer technique presents a compliant suction tip to the concrete thereby producing a good seal against an irregular surface, and stiff component to deliver the structural rigidity needed for walking and climbing. Individually actuated pneumatic Venturi vacuum generators provide the suction from positive pneumatic pressure in a manner that is robust against leaks that cause the systemic vacuum collapse that can plague other vacuum configurations. The feet are attached to a six-legged robot that with a nominal floor walking capability and gait. Climbing a wall requires modification to leg actuation and gait, along with suction feet. System design, integration, concrete wall climbing performance and sensor deployment in the form of a lightweight ground penetrating radar system are presented.
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Dryver Huston, Dylan Burns, John Gardner-Morse, Paul Montane, Enrique Angola, "Dual-durometer soft suction foot robot for concrete inspection", Proc. SPIE 9064, Health Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2014, 90642Q (28 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2046596; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2046596
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