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Title: Pipe crawler with extendable legs

A pipe crawler for moving through a pipe in inchworm fashion having front and rear leg assemblies separated by air cylinders to increase and decrease the spacing between assemblies. Each leg of the four legs of an assembly is moved between a wall-engaging, extended position and a retracted position by a separate air cylinder. The air cylinders of the leg assemblies are preferably arranged in pairs of oppositely directed cylinders with no pair lying in the same axial plane as another pair. Therefore, the cylinders can be as long as a leg assembly is wide and the crawler can crawl through sections of pipes where the diameter is twice that of other sections. The crawler carries a valving system, a manifold to distribute air supplied by a single umbilical air hose to the various air cylinders in a sequence controlled electrically by a controller. The crawler also utilizes a rolling mechanism, casters in this case, to reduce friction between the crawler and pipe wall thereby further extending the range of the pipe crawler. 8 figs.
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
7072088
Report Number(s):
US 5121694; A
PPN: US 7-679497
DOE Contract Number:
AC09-89SR18035
Resource Type:
Patent
Resource Relation:
Patent File Date: 2 Apr 1991
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING; PIPES; INSPECTION; ROBOTS; DESIGN; ELECTRIC CONTROLLERS; OPERATION; PNEUMATIC CONTROLLERS; ROLLING FRICTION; CONTROL EQUIPMENT; EQUIPMENT; FRICTION 420203* -- Engineering-- Handling Equipment & Procedures