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Title: Robotic minimally invasive tools for restricted access confined spaces
Author: Liu, Jason Hon Wei
ISNI:       0000 0004 5990 096X
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2016
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A study has been performed in the design and fabrication of deployable borehole robots into confined spaces. Three robot systems have been developed to perform a visual survey of a subterranean space where for any reason humans could not enter. A 12mm diameter snake arm was designed with a focus on the cable tensions and the failure modes for the components that make the snake arm. An iterative solver was developed to model the snake arm and algorithmically calculate the snake arms optimal length with consideration of the failure modes. A robot was developed to extend the range capabilities of borehole robots using reconfigurable borehole robots based around established actuation and manufacturing techniques. The expected distance and weight requirements of the robot are calculated alongside the forces the robot is required to generate in order to achieve them. The whegged design incorporated into the tracks is also analysed to measure the capability of the robot over rough terrain. Finally, the experiments to find the actual driving forces of the tracks are performed and used to calculate the actual range of the robot in comparison to the target range. The potential of reconfigurable mobile robots for deployment through boreholes is limited by the requirement for conventional gears, motors, and joints. This chapter explores the use of smart materials and innovative manufacturing techniques to form a novel concept of a self-folding robotic joint for a self-assembling robotic system. The design uses shape memory alloys fabricated in laminate structures with heaters to create folding structures.
Supervisor: Richardson, Robert C. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available