Articles

EJBot: Versatile Climbing Robot for Industrial Vessel Inspection

Dr. Mohamed Gouda Alkalla and Mohamed Fanni
Mansoura University
Mansoura, Ad-daqahliyah, Egypt

The EJBot is a propeller-type climbing robot for climbing various types of structures to inspect industrial vessels made of various materials, including non-ferromagnetic material. The inspection process includes capturing images of important spots that are prone to corrosion, as well as measuring the vessel's wall thickness.

The design consists of two coaxial upturned propellers mounted on a mobile platform with four standard wheels. A new hybrid actuation system that consists of propeller thrust forces and standard wheel torques is the adhesion system for this climbing robot. This system generates the required adhesion force to support the robot on the climbed surfaces.

Experimental tests to check the robot's capabilities of climbing different surfaces — such as smooth, rough, flat, and cylindrical surfaces like those on an actual vessel — were successfully completed. The robot stops accurately on the climbed surface at any desired location for inspection purposes, and it overcomes significant obstacles up to 40 mm.

“It was a great pleasure participating in this contest. I was delighted when I received the award of First Prize in the Machinery/Automation/Robotics Category. This win helps my EJBot Climbing Robot to be recognized internationally, and certainly facilitates communicating with industrial companies in the future.”

- Dr Mohamed Gouda Alkalla

This proposed climbing robot is needed for petrochemical and liquid gas companies in which a regular inspection of welds and the wall thickness is required. The interaction between the human and the vessels is dangerous due to the harmful environment inside these vessels. EJBot robot will save the cost of inspection of vessels, as well as protect the health of technicians.

For more information, visit here


HONORABLE MENTIONS

Synchronous Reluctance Machine (SRM)

Douglas Richard,
DDU Magnetics,
Lynwood, IL

SRMs have great potential in wind turbine generators or tractive drive motors. This unique geometry elimi- nates cogging torque without complex software, using prime numbered stator armature coils. It comprises only four sub-assemblies, and can be retrofitted inside existing DC brushed (and/or AC induction/synchronous) frames.

For more information, visit here.


Orbitless Drive

Leo Stocco,
Orbitless Drives Inc.,
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

The Orbitless drive is the first new low-ratio drive since the planetary drive, and features torque splitting and co-axial drive shafts that spin in a common direction. It offers lower production cost and lower internal speeds, providing higher efficiency and longer bearing life for applications in automated factories, electric vehicles, medical devices, and other motorized products.

For more information, visit here.


Development of Multi-Material 3D Printer Using Fused Deposition Modeling

Dr. Jing Yuen Tey and Dr. Yogeswaran a/l Mohan,
University Tunku Abdul Rahman,
Selangor, Malaysia

This fused deposition modeling (FDM) printer has a compact mixer that takes in two different materials to produce the desired mixing ratio of the polymer material. This can produce unique mechanical proper ties; for example, with Nylon as a base matrix polymer and carbon fiber as a filler, varied stiffness in the material can be achieved.

For more information, visit here.


Single Sleeve Mounting Pulleys, Gears, and Sprockets on Keyless Shaft

Tad Staniszewski, Asymmetric Fasteners Inc.,
Hackettstown, NJ

Traditionally, drive elements like gears, pulleys, sprockets, and similar devices are affixed to rotating shafts using a variety of different methods. The Torksleeve A2(TSA2) is a single cylindrical sleeve whose exterior is threaded with an asymmetric thread. The sleeve can be threaded into a component from either side, providing secure vibration-resistant bidirectional movement, and repeated mounting and dismantling of components.

For more information, visit here.

The U.S. Government does not endorse any commercial product, process, or activity identified on this web site.