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An Improved Compact Compliant Mechanism for an External Pipe-Crawler

Vinod Kumar, BM and Badige, DK and Hegde, S and Ananthasuresh, GK (2009) An Improved Compact Compliant Mechanism for an External Pipe-Crawler. In: 14th National Conference on Machines and Mechanisms (NaCoMM-09), December 17-18, 2009, NIT-Durgapur, India.

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Abstract

An external pipe-crawling device presented in this paper aids the inspection of pipes in hazardous environments and areas inaccessible to humans. The principal component of our design, which uses inchworm type motion, is a compliant ring mechanism actuated using shape memory alloy (SMA) wire. It was fabricated and tested and was reported in our earlier work. But this device had a drawback of low crawling speed (about 1 mm/min) owing to the delay in heating and cooling of the SMA strips in the linear actuation. Additionally, that design also had the difficulties of mounting on pipes with closed ends, large radial span, and the need for housing for electrical insulation and guiding of the SMA wire. In this paper we present a compact design that overcomes the difficulties of the earlier design. In particular, we present a compact compliant mechanism with two halves so as to enable mounting and un-mounting on any closed or open pipe. Another feature is the presence of insulation and guiding of the SMA wire without housing. This design results in a reduction of the radial span of the ring from 22 mm to 12 mm, and the stiffness of the mechanism and the SMA wire are matched. An SMA helical spring is to used in the place of an SMA strip to increase the crawling speed of the device. A microcontroller-based circuitry is also fitted to cyclically.activate the SMA wires and springs.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Mechanical Engineering
Depositing User: Ms TV Yashodha
Date Deposited: 01 May 2012 06:57
Last Modified: 01 May 2012 07:06
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/40080

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