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Tuesday, May 14 • 4:30pm - 5:00pm
Aerial Manipulation for Remote Robotic Machinery Diagnostics

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There is a growing trend of using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, or drones) for inspection of industrial facilities and infrastructure. The types of inspections currently done entail remote sensing using cameras: qualitative assessment and photogrammetry using standard cameras, as well as temperature monitoring using thermal imaging cameras. The benefits of using drones are to reduce risk to inspection personnel near operating equipment, reduced cost, and improved auditability of archived data. Machine condition monitoring can benefits from this enabling technology provided that vibration monitoring and lubricant analysis can also be done remotely. Laser vibrometers can be used for remote monitoring of equipment that does not have permanently mounted, dedicated vibration monitoring sensors; but this sensing method is capital intensive, requires a laser head and controller with a typical mass of over 5 kg, and must be pointed from an appropriate direction, which may not be accessible. Lubricant analysis requires access to a lubricant sampling port and a means for collecting and analyzing the sample. A system is described for deploying a drone with a manipulator that engages the equipment of interest for vibration data collection. The same system can use a similar payload for drop-tube vacuum sampling of lubricant by inserting a tube through a fill port or dip stick port and withdrawing an oil sample from the sump cavity. The key technical challenges are collision-free navigation and hovering, followed by control of dynamic deployment of the payload that connects to the machinery. A proof-of-concept system is described with experimental results.

avatar for Michael Lipsett

Michael Lipsett

Professor, University of Alberta

Tuesday May 14, 2019 4:30pm - 5:00pm EDT
Freedom Ballroom I