Development of a climbing robot for ship hull inspection

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Mehdi Shahrami*, Mahdi Khorasanchi


Inspection, cleaning, and maintenance of marine equipment, including ships, marine platforms, turbines, and pipelines, have always been of interest to marine industries and oil companies. Over time, fouling by algae and marine organisms on the hull of a ship and marine equipment can cause corrosion and cracks, which must be inspected and then cleaned. Typically, these operations are performed by divers, which has several disadvantages, including the risk of life and an increase in cost and time. Currently, marine robots, including Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), are now expanding and replacing humans to perform reconnaissance missions. In this paper, an inspection robot is designed with the ability to climb the hull of the ship with the help of magnetic tracks. At first, in order to optimally arrange the magnets and obtain the maximum amount of adhesion force, the magnets have been analyzed in ANSYS magnetostatic. Then, the forces entered into the robot from the seawater during the operation were simulated by CFD method. The robot has the main advantages of being compact, lightweight, and simple mechanical structure. It is not only able to climb vertical walls and follows circumferential paths but also able to pass complex obstacles such as bolts, steps, convex and concave corners with almost any inclination regarding gravity. The experiment results show that the climbing robot has a good performance on locomotion and it is successful in negotiating obstacles.



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Mehdi Shahrami*, Mahdi Khorasanchi