Power Magazine Article by Thomas W. Overton, JD – 04/01/2016
ICM - Climbing High
Climbing robots are among the options with the most potential for plant use because of their ability to remove the need for staff to ascend to potentially dangerous heights. Ithaca, N.Y.–based International Climbing Machines (ICM) has worked with EPRI to adapt its climbing robots to conduct NDE of very large concrete structures like dams and nuclear plant containment buildings—shown in the header photo (a video of the project can be viewed below).
“It’s the vacuum chamber, which is surrounded by a rolling, very flexible seal, that allows it to go over very rough surfaces as well as surface obstacles.”
Using lidar positioning, highly accurate maps of the inspection data can be created. The ICM climbing robot can ascend a variety of surfaces and remains attached through vacuum suction. ICM’s robots have also been used for inspections of wind turbines (see the cover of this issue), as well as for maintenance tasks such as spraying coatings and sandblasting.
According to ICM President Sam Maggio, the robot is capable of climbing any surface on which it can maintain a vacuum seal, unlike robots that rely on magnets and that can only climb ferromagnetic materials. “It’s the vacuum chamber, which is surrounded by a rolling, very flexible seal, that allows it to go over very rough surfaces as well as surface obstacles,” Maggio said. Because the seal rolls over the surface rather than being dragged, the robot will not damage the surfaces it climbs.
To read the Power Magazine article in online: https://www.powermag.com/leveraging-drones-robots-om-savings/?pagenum=1