Case Studies
Patrol inspection of snake-like robot high-altitude cable
School of Mechatronic Engineering, China University of Mining and Technology
Snake-like robot, robot posture
Snake-like robot
8 Mars 2H motion capture cameras

For a long time, the inspection of high-altitude cables is mainly manual. In the process of manual maintenance, besides the danger of working conditions, the human error caused by fatigue caused by long-term maintenance should also be considered. This method not only consumes a lot of human resources, but also is difficult to ensure the maintenance accuracy.


For general robots, the complex truss structure of high-altitude cables can hardly make them work normally. Snake-like robot has good applicability to the structure that needs climbing operation because of its long and narrow body structure and various movement forms.

The research group led by Professor Tang Chaoquan of China University of Mining and Technology has developed a snake-like robot, which is used to replace manual inspection of high-altitude cables. The snake robot consists of nine identical joints, a module integrating control system and power supply, and a head sensor. Joints can rotate 180 degrees in a single axis, and two adjacent axes are orthogonal, so they can be inserted in complex environments. On a smooth surface, the robot can move around in a circle by the rotation of each joint.


In order to make the snake robot have certain autonomy, the robot is equipped with abundant sensors. Robot needs to estimate its own state effectively by using the information of inertial sensors, so attitude control and attitude calculation of each joint become the key of robot design.


Therefore, China University of Mining and Technology used NOKOV optical motion capture system to capture the joint motion of robot. In this system, eight Mars 2H infrared optical motion capture lenses are used to capture the Marker points fixed on each joint of the snake-like robot, so as to obtain the position coordinates and angle changes of each joint during the movement of the snake-like robot as reference quantities. The validity of the algorithm is verified by comparing the pose data calculated by fusing inertial sensor information with the pose data obtained by motion capture system.

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