In this paper the design and development of a crawling robot for inspection of live water pipes are addressed. The mechanical design of the robot is described in detail. The governing dynamics equations of the robot moving against water flow as well as gravity in a straight pipe are also derived. Specifically, the hydrodynamic forces exerted on the robot when moving in a live pressurized pipe are taken into account. Two fuzzy-logic based control strategies are adopted. The first one is to maintain a constant translational speed in robot's motion when subjected to flow disturbances that are numerically modeled using step changes in flow velocity within a human-in-the-loop real-time simulation environment, and the second is to steer the real robot inside the pipe while following a numerically modeled time-varying velocity set point with no fluid present in the pipe. The controller parameters were tuned based on data obtained from a human-in-the-loop control system via an artificial neural network. © 2009 IEEE.
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