Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

Document Type



The field of robotics applications continues to advance. This dissertation addresses the computational challenges of robotic applications and translations of actions using sensors. One of the most challenging fields for robotics applications is pipeline-based applications which have become an indispensable part of life. Proactive monitoring and frequent inspections are critical in maintaining pipeline health. However, these tasks are highly expensive using traditional maintenance systems, knowing that pipeline systems can be largely deployed in an inaccessible and hazardous environment. Thus, we propose a novel cost effective, scalable, customizable, and autonomous sensor-based robotic system, called SPRAM System (Sensor-based Autonomous Pipeline Monitoring Robotic System). It combines robot agent based technologies with sensing technologies for efficiently locating health related events and allows active and corrective monitoring and maintenance of the pipelines. The SPRAM System integrates RFID systems with mobile sensors and autonomous robots. While the mobile sensor motion is based on the fluid transported by the pipeline, the fixed sensors provide event and mobile sensor location information and contribute efficiently to the study of health history of the pipeline. In addition, it permits a good tracking of the mobile sensors. Using the output of event analysis, a robot agent gets command from the controlling system, travels inside the pipelines for detailed inspection and repairing of the reported incidents (e.g., damage, leakage, or corrosion). The key innovations of the proposed system are 3-fold: (a) the system can apply to a large variety of pipeline systems; (b) the solution provided is cost effective since it uses low cost powerless fixed sensors that can be setup while the pipeline system is operating; (c) the robot is autonomous and the localization technique allows controllable errors. In this dissertation, some simulation experiments described along with prototyping activities demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed system.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Iyengar, S. Sitharama