Inspecting and cleaning your colossal construction machines and equipment has just become easier!
A team of British engineers from OC Robotics, a UK engineering company have developed an industrial snake like robot called The Series II – X125 system, which is designed to check and clean tunnel borers amongst other equipment and machinery.
The robot is at present in use in Miami as part of a port construction project.
1. The robot’s arm, or snake-like part, is 2.2 metres long and can bend and twist like a serpent to over 225 degrees. This gives it the advantage of being able to access tight spots no person ever could, making it especially useful for hazardous environments.
2. As the smooth, snake appendage is incredibly flexible it does not pose the risk of getting caught on any components or corners inside machinery which could potentially damage it.
3. The system is equipped with a camera and water jet so the operator can inspect machine internals remotely. Other attachments such as welders can be equipped if required.
4. It’s controlled at the base by actuators and motors which move the snake appendage. A highly advanced “nose following algorithm” is coupled with the next-gen hardware. This combination of hardware and software is what enables the arm to move lithely like a serpentine with an excellent amount of dexterity and precision.
5. The software program ensures the body of the snake follows the lead of the appendage’s head as it moves forward, or reverses. If the head moves right, the body does also. This is why it is such an appealing advancement in engineering, as this smart algorithm ensures the robot can make its way through almost any tight space.
With many construction, engineering and mining projects in the pipeline and already underway, Australia could benefit greatly from such intelligent technology.
For instance, this robot snake would be perfect to use for the inspection and cleaning of the ventilation systems of Sydney’s tunnels such as those within the M5, Cross City and Lane Cove tunnels, not to mention the 9 kilometre Sydney NorthConnex tunnel once complete.