Design of soft-body robot with wireless communication for leak detection in large diameter pipe systems
Author(s)Saleeby, Kyle Scott
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
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Water leaks pose a major problem of efficiency and cost to municipalities and industries that cover significant area. While current commercial methods to address these problems do not provide convenient or low cost methods to detect leaks, a soft-body pipe leak detection robot has been developed to traverse small, 50mm diameter water pipe systems. This robot has proven to be effective in small diameter pipes, but its scalability for large diameter pipes is unknown. The focus of this thesis is to scale up the leak detection robot for 300mm diameter pipes and fabricate a robot prototype. In particular, the relationship between the shape of the robot and its maneuverability was explored, such that it was designed to passively travel through the pipe, driven by water flow. The robot was designed to successfully pass through changes in pipe diameter, pipe bends, and through partially clogged regions. To detect and distinguish pipe leaks from other debris in the pipe, two sensors were integrated in the robot. Experimental testing was conducted with the robot to verify functionality of its leak detection sensors. Supporting electronics were also implemented to wirelessly charge and communicate with the robot.
Thesis: S.B., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 2017.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology