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In-pipe wireless micro robot

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image of Journal of Micromechatronics

We have been developing an In-pipe Wireless Micro Robot for inspection of the inner surface of pipes, in collaboration with DENSO, Toshiba and SANYO under the Japanese national R&D project 'Micromachine Technology' of METI. The micro robot consists of many devices, a CCD camera for visual inspection, an actuator for locomotion, control circuits for system control, a microwave antenna and a photovoltaic device for energy supply and communication. The robot moves in a 10 mm diameter pipe without wire and observes the inner surface of the pipe. Through the project, the technologies of the component devices and the system have been developed. Several important results have been obtained on both technologies. For the device technologies, high-performance micro component devices have been developed. For the systematization technologies, the functions, simulation, packaging and assembling of the system have been studied. Through the development of the micro robot, we have successfully confirmed the wireless in-pipe locomotion and wireless image data communication of 2 frames per second.


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