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Non-destructive inspection in industrial equipment using robotic mobile manipulation

: Maurtua, I.; Susperregi, L.; Ansuategui, A.; Fernandez, A.; Ibarguren, A.; Molina, J.; Tubio, C.; Villasante, C.; Felsch, T.; Perez, C.; Rodriguez, J.R.; Ghrissi, M.


Rajpaul, Vikesh (Ed.):
21st SolarPACES International Conference, SolarPACES 2015. Proceedings : 13-16 October 2015, Cape Town, South Africa
New York, N.Y.: AIP Press, 2016 (AIP Conference Proceedings 1734)
ISBN: 978-0-7354-1386-3
Art. 130013, 9 S.
International Conference on Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems (SolarPACES) <21, 2015, Cape Town>
Fraunhofer IFF ()

MAINBOT project has developed service robots based applications to autonomously execute inspection tasks in extensive industrial plants in equipment that is arranged horizontally (using ground robots) or vertically (climbing robots). The industrial objective has been to provide a means to help measuring several physical parameters in multiple points by autonomous robots, able to navigate and climb structures, handling non-destructive testing sensors. MAINBOT has validated the solutions in two solar thermal plants (cylindrical-parabolic collectors and central tower), that are very demanding from mobile manipulation point of view mainly due to the extension (e.g. a thermal solar plant of 50Mw, with 400 hectares, 400.000 mirrors, 180 km of absorber tubes, 140m height tower), the variability of conditions (outdoor, day-night), safety requirements, etc. Once the technology was validated in simulation, the system was deployed in real setups and different validation tests carried out. In this paper two of the achievements related with the ground mobile inspection system are presented: (1) Autonomous navigation localization and planning algorithms to manage navigation in huge extensions and (2) Non-Destructive Inspection operations: thermography based detection algorithms to provide automatic inspection abilities to the robots.