Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS)


Computer Science

Document Type



Pipelines have been an integral part of our constructions for many centuries. However, need to be maintained, and the cost of maintenance continues to increase. Robots have been considered as an attractive alternative, and many different types of pipeline robots have been proposed in the past. Unfortunately many of them work under only very restricted environments such as customized pipelines, often have no vertical mobility, or can traverse through only a simple pipeline structure due to wired control. This thesis presents the design and implementation of a robot based on novel idea we call “caterpillar navigational mechanism”. A Fully Autonomous Mobile Pipeline Exploration Robot (FAMPER), for exploring pipeline structures autonomously has been built and its performance has been evaluated. We present the design of a robot based on wall-pressed caterpillar type for not only horizontal, but also vertical mobility in pipeline elements such as straight pipelines, elbows and branches, and its autonomous navigational system providing useful information for pipeline maintenance. FAMPER has been designed for 6 inch sewer pipes, which are predominantly used in urban constructions. The proposed design enables FAMPER to display formidable mobility and controllability in most of the existing structure of pipeline, and provides a spacious body for housing various electronic devices. Specifically, FAMPER is equipped with several sensors, and a high performance processor for autonomous navigation. We have performed experiments to evaluate the effectiveness of our architecture and we present here a discussion of the performed results.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Sitharama S. Iyengar