Internal Service Device Patents (Class 104/138.2)
  • Patent number: 9687981
    Abstract: A serpentine body includes a first portion, a first wheel coupled to the first portion, a second portion, a second wheel coupled to the second portion, and at least one sensor coupled to the first portion and/or the second portion. The first wheel is rotatable in a first direction. The second wheel is rotatable in a second direction opposite the first direction when the first wheel rotates in the first direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2017
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Joseph L. Hafenrichter, Gary E. Georgeson, William P. Motzer
  • Patent number: 9657884
    Abstract: A pipe crawler for crawling inside a pipe having an inside wall includes a front leg assembly that has front legs and feet. It also includes a rear leg assembly that has rear legs and feet. The rear leg assembly is disposed at a distance from the front leg assembly. A midsection operably couples the front leg assembly to the rear leg assembly and is configured to extend and contract the distance between the front leg assembly and the rear leg assembly. A plurality of lever arms are pivotably coupled between the front legs and their corresponding assemblies. The lever arms, in response to a force applied in an orientation traveling from the front of the pipe crawler to the rear of the pipe crawler, are configured to redirect a portion of the force into a normal force between the feet and the pipe inside wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2017
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Air Force
    Inventors: David B. Carte, Marko Podplatnik, Nathan Tangeman, Nathan Davies, Ryan Boedeker, Kyle Fitle, Christopher Caldrone, Kelsey Brush
  • Patent number: 9528651
    Abstract: An intraductal power vehicle operated inside a tubular tunnel having an inner circumference includes at least a main vehicle body, a power wheel, an elastic wheel, an auxiliary wheel and a drive module. The main vehicle body extended between a first and a second end faces along a central axis has a vehicle circumference. The power wheel is mounted to a first circumferential portion of the vehicle circumference. The elastic wheel is mounted to a second circumferential portion of the vehicle circumference. The second circumferential portion and the first circumferential portion are separated to opposing sides of the central axis. The auxiliary wheel is located on the vehicle circumference at a position closer to the second end face than the power wheel and the elastic wheel. The drive module for driving at least one of the power wheel and the auxiliary wheel is located inside the main vehicle body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2016
    Inventor: Hsih-Hsiao Hsu
  • Patent number: 9383055
    Abstract: An object of the invention is to provide an in-pipe traveling apparatus and a traveling module is provided, having a simple structure but capable of operating with a short overall traveling path and setting a large drive force for forward and backward traveling operation. The In one embodiment, the in-pipe traveling apparatus includes at least three traveling modules capable of passing through a pipe. Each of the traveling modules includes a traveling module body, a pair of traveling wheels provided in the traveling module body on one side thereof in a traveling direction, a drive member that drives the pair of traveling wheels in such a way that the traveling wheels rotate, a connection member that connects the traveling module to another traveling module in a bendable manner in a pitching direction, and a swing member that causes the adjacent traveling module to swing in a yawing direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2016
    Assignee: HiBot Corp.
    Inventors: Shigeo Hirose, Paulo Debenest, Michele Guarnieri
  • Patent number: 9359841
    Abstract: A wellbore workstring. The workstring comprises a tubular string and a plurality of robots coupled to the tubular string. The robots establish a wireless communication network within a wellbore and deploy actuators to move themselves relative to the tubular string.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2016
    Assignee: HALLIBURTON ENERGY SERVICES, INC.
    Inventor: Lee J. Hall
  • Patent number: 9353902
    Abstract: A self propelled propulsion device suitable for pushing, pulling or articulating other tools or equipment around bends within a pipe. The device comprises a first part and a second part, the first part being coupled to the second part by articulating means. The device also comprises a hydraulic system and a control unit. The hydraulic system is operable to returnably separate the first and second part of the device from each other. The hydraulic system further comprises a plurality of pipeline engaging means positioned along an exterior surface of the device which are operable by the hydraulic system to be engagable with the interior surface of the pipeline. The control unit is in communication with the hydraulic system to control the movement of the pipeline engaging means and the first and second parts such that the device is moveable within the pipeline.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2016
    Assignee: THE SAFER PLUG COMPANY LIMITED
    Inventors: Ciaran Early, Gary Murray, Raymond Honour
  • Patent number: 9354205
    Abstract: For ultrasonic measurement of pipe seam peaking, optionally with simultaneous ultrasonic wall thickness measurement using ultrasonic probes mounted on sensor holders on a sensor mount, it is proposed to use a sensor mount with sensor holders mounted on movable skids, which are pressed outward by spring elements and bear against the internal pipe surface, and skids having a large skid breadth greater than the seam peak breadth measured in the pipe's circumferential direction in the region of a measured seam peak, and sensor holders equipped with sensors only in a measuring region situated half way between two skid contact surfaces, wherein the measuring region breadth is less or equal to half of the skid breadth such that the stand off deviation of the sensors resulting in the seam peak region remains below a threshold value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2016
    Assignee: NDT GLOBAL GMBH & CO. KG
    Inventor: Axel Schwarz
  • Patent number: 9316340
    Abstract: An actively driven spiral pipeline robot is disclosed, comprising: a body, a power device, a driving shaft, an axle, a driving wheel carrier mounted at one end of the body, and a variable diameter mechanism disposed on the driving wheel carrier. The axle is disposed on the variable diameter mechanism. A driving wheel is fixedly mounted on the axle. The driving shaft and the axle are connected via a connector. The driving shaft is further connected with an output shaft of the power device via a transmission device. The present invention has following beneficial effects: a scope of application of the robot is expanded, an operation is stable, and an axial force is large. In addition, an axial position of the robot is adjusted by controlling an operation of the driving wheel, and an adjustment precision is high.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2016
    Assignee: SOUTHWEST PETROLEUM UNIVERSITY
    Inventors: Qingyou Liu, Tao Ren, Yonghua Chen
  • Patent number: 9254898
    Abstract: A hull robot includes a turbine subsystem actuatable by fluid moving past the hull, a drive subsystem for maneuvering the robot about the hull, and an adjustment subsystem for either the turbine subsystem or the drive subsystem. A controller is configured to operate the adjustment subsystem to adjust the position of the turret subsystem relative to the drive subsystem until fluid flowing past the hull results in an optimal flow of fluid with respect to the turbine subsystem.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 9, 2016
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: James H. Rooney, III, Timothy I. Mann, Howard R. Kornstein, Joel N. Harris, Jonathan T. Longley, Scott H. Allen
  • Patent number: 9207155
    Abstract: A cured-in-place-pipe (CIPP) liner inspection system used to inspect a resin level in a CIPP liner that has been impregnated with resin using an inspection chamber having an optical sensor. The CIPP liner inspection system is also used to identify zones within an installed CIPP liner having lower mechanical strength due to inadequate distribution of resin using a robotic unit having an optical sensor. The optical sensor measures an optical property, which is used to determine a resin level or a mechanical property based on predetermined correlations between the optical property and the resin level and predetermined correlations between the optical property and the mechanical property.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 8, 2015
    Assignee: Louisiana Tech Research Corporation
    Inventors: Erez Allouche, Shaurav Alam
  • Patent number: 9139040
    Abstract: The kit includes a hub having a central axis and a perimeter. The perimeter comprises a plurality of flat spoke faces extending therearound. A spoke assembly is releasably couplable to each spoke face. Each spoke assembly is aligned with an adjacent spoke assembly to form a spoke. A method of assembling the wheel assembly is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2015
    Inventors: Jules Scogna, Adam Schuman
  • Patent number: 9101967
    Abstract: A robot for cleaning and inspecting conduits has a synchronizing mechanism, which extends all driving units simultaneously and with a constant normal force applied to the conduit wall. The robot may be equipped with adapters for conduits with rectangular cross section, and with extension bars for conduits with large diameters. Further, the robot may be equipped with sensors monitoring the robot status, these include a sensor of the synchronizing mechanism position, inclinometer and gyroscope. Data from these sensors may be displayed on a monitor. The movement of the robot inside the conduit and therefore the speed of individual tracks is controlled by the operator by three control elements: direction of turning, diameter of bend and speed of motion. The robot is also able to travel backwards inside the conduit automatically based on stored information about forward movement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2015
    Assignee: NEOVISION, s.r.o.
    Inventors: Petr Farkavec, Vladimír Smutný
  • Patent number: 9068576
    Abstract: There is disclosed a device for orienting an object according to a given spatial orientation. The device comprises a frame and a supporting member connected to the frame and adapted for supporting at least a portion of the object. The device for orienting an object comprises a plurality of fluid actuated devices for displacing the supporting member with respect to the frame. Each of the fluid actuated devices is actuatable between a first position wherein the device has a first length and a second position wherein the device has a second length. The device for orienting comprises an actuation mechanism comprising a plurality of actuating valves for actuating the corresponding fluid actuated device; wherein an actuation of at least one of the fluid actuated devices enables to displace the supporting member with respect to the frame, thereby orienting the object according to the given spatial orientation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2015
    Assignee: SOCPRA SCIENCES ET GINIE S.E.C.
    Inventors: Jean-Sébastien Plante, Geneviève Miron, Sylvain Proulx, Patrick Chouinard, Alexandre Girard, Jean-Philippe Lucking Bigué
  • Patent number: 9021900
    Abstract: Provided is an in-pipe inspection robot which moves along a path in a pipe to inspect suspected areas such as cracks in the pipe. An in-pipe inspection robot in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention has a configuration in which two or more operating units having a plurality of arms, which move forward and backward in a radial direction of a pipe, are connected to each other to move in a straight direction or to be bent relative to each other by means of a flexible link mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2015
    Assignee: Industry-Academic Cooperation Foundation Yonsei University
    Inventors: Hyun Seok Yang, Woong Sun Jeon
  • Patent number: 8950338
    Abstract: A self propelled autonomous pipeline tool for use in straight pipe comprising a first part and a second part, a hydraulic system comprising at least one hydraulic piston and means for operating the piston, and a control unit. The hydraulic system is operable to returnably separate the first and second part of the device from each other. The hydraulic system further comprises a plurality of pipeline engaging means positioned along an exterior surface of the device which are operable by the hydraulic system to be engagable with the interior surface of the pipeline. The control unit is in communication with the hydraulic system to control the movement of the pipeline engaging means and the first and second parts such that the pipeline tool is moveable within a straight pipeline. The pipeline tool further comprises a communications module which enables the pipeline tool to utilize ELF communications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2015
    Assignee: The Safer Plug Company Limited
    Inventors: Ciaran Early, Gary Murray, Raymond Honour
  • Patent number: 8915192
    Abstract: A circulated pneumatic tube transit system is used to transport passengers/cargo along a pair of pneumatic tubes, which are positioned along each other. Capsules are movably suspended within the tubes by either a maglev system or wheels. The capsules travel in opposite directions in each tube so that the system provides back and forth transportation between two destinations. A fluid loop mechanism cycles a volume of air through the tubes as a means to propel the capsules through each tube. A series of fluid loop mechanism can be air multipliers as the volume of air cycles through the tubes. Two one-directional valves are located at opposite ends of the tubes and are used to transfer the kinetic energy for an arriving capsule within one tube into kinetic energy for a departing capsule within the other tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Inventor: Bo Zhou
  • Patent number: 8794083
    Abstract: An inspection assembly for inspecting a hollow member, with a probe head, which includes at least one sensor, and a flexible shaft connected to the probe head to transmit motive force. The shaft encloses at least one wire operatively connected to the probe head for sensory operation of the sensor. The shaft has a first part adjacent to the probe head and a second part distal therefrom. The first part is relatively more flexible that the second part. The shaft has an improved ability to follow a torturous path of the hollow member and for aiding in kink prevention of the shaft. In one aspect, the first part is made of polymer material and has a reduced-diameter and corrugations. Optionally, at least one non-metallic retrieval cable is enclosed within the shaft and connected to the probe head for transmitting a pulling force to the probe head.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2014
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Jeffrey Bishop Draper, Matthew Barton Wolf, Michael Alphonse Terhaar, Lance Edmund Maggy
  • Publication number: 20140165869
    Abstract: A steering assembly for use in a pipeline is disclosed. A skid is moveable along an axial pathway. A cable-receiving member is mounted to the skid. A shoe member is rotationally secured to the cable-receiving member. An extension module is moveable upward away from the skid. A hose can pass through the cable-receiving terminus, the shoe member and the extension module, and a hose-mounted tool head is rotationally and upwardly movable relative to the skid.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 12, 2013
    Publication date: June 19, 2014
    Inventor: Shaun M. Flanery
  • Publication number: 20140165870
    Abstract: The invention relates to a travelling device (10, 130) for an apparatus for rehabilitating pipelines, with an adjustable undercarriage (20, 140), comprising a plurality of wheels (42, 44; 162, 164), and with a support device (30, 150) to which the undercarriage (20, 140) is fastened. A plurality of wheel sets (40, 160) are provided and each wheel set (40, 160) comprises at least two wheels (42, 44; 162, 164), wherein the wheels (42, 44; 162, 164) of a wheel set (40, 160) are rotatably mounted on a wheel holding element (50, 170).
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 19, 2012
    Publication date: June 19, 2014
    Inventor: Andreas Bichler
  • Publication number: 20140054525
    Abstract: The pipe travelling apparatus (100) for travelling through a curved sewerage pipe and for performing a task in said pipe comprises a first segment (101) and a second segment (102), each comprising a body (101, 102) provided with a sliding surface (108, 109) for sliding along an inner bottom surface of a pipe, said first and second segment mutually coupled by a bendable coupling member (120). The apparatus further comprises a tool (161, 150, 171, 172) suitable for performing said task in the pipe and provided in or to at least one of said first segment (101) and said second segment (102). The apparatus further comprises a driving means (130) coupled to said first and/or second segment (101, 102), such as a driving cable. The pipe travelling apparatus (100) is intended for transportation of a cable (90) into the pipe, and for fastening cable fastening elements (10) attached to said cable (90) to an inner wall of said pipe.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 25, 2012
    Publication date: February 27, 2014
    Applicant: JELCER-IP B.V.
    Inventors: Johannes Gerhardus Spijker, Klaas Alexander Nicolai
  • Publication number: 20140023358
    Abstract: A lifting unit for pipe inspection systems for lifting a head unit, comprising a base support with a connection module for connection to a connection unit of a carriage, a lifting system with at least one lifting arm and a drive unit for deflecting the lifting arm relative to the base support via a rotation axis, as well as a head unit with a connection module for connection of inspection units, in particular cameras and illumination systems, wherein connectors of the carriage are at least partially lead to the connection module of the head unit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 24, 2013
    Publication date: January 23, 2014
    Applicant: iPEK International GmbH
    Inventors: Christian James DÜMIG, Alexander KREUTZER
  • Patent number: 8584593
    Abstract: A transportation system which is linked through a common single operating system, in the form of a vacuum tube-link network of transport tubes avoids the limitations of current transportation systems in terms of cost of construction, continuous rising costs of maintenance, limited speed capacity, limited volume capacity, insufficient safety, and vulnerability to environmental and climatic changes. The present invention offers year-round, uninterrupted operation while providing a safe haven at stations for the public during environmental or climatic conditions making sustaining life difficult or impossible. The transportation system of the present invention operates in a contained vacuum tube link environment within which a transport capsule is levitated. Levitation is provided by permanent magnets located in the interior of the transport tube and liquid-cooled super-conducting bulk elements located on the capsule. Cooling may be provided by a fluid such as nitrogen, helium, etc.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2013
    Inventor: Jan Friedmann
  • Patent number: 8525124
    Abstract: A device. The device includes a sensor portion and a chassis portion. The sensor portion includes a plurality of sensing devices. The chassis portion is connected to the sensor portion and includes a first track and a second track. The second track is positioned adjacent the first track. The first and second tracks cooperate to substantially cover an entire width of the chassis portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2013
    Assignee: RedZone Robotics, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher C. Atwood, Richard P. Juchniewicz, Eric Kratzer, Adam Slifko, Philip Jake Johns
  • Patent number: 8464642
    Abstract: An apparatus for conveying a payload through a pipe having the ability to automatically self-stabilize and orient itself inside the pipe by controlling two pipe tracking contactors so as to maintain contact between the pipe tracking contactors and the pipe wall and maintain the apparatus in a functional orientation. The apparatus includes tilt sensor arrays for continuously monitoring the position of the apparatus with respect to the pipe wall, variable speed drive motors operably connected with the pipe contactors for rotating the contactors, tilt motors operably connected with the pipe tracking contactors to enable movement of the contactors between a non-functional orientation and a functional orientation, and a controller for controlling the motors based upon information provided by the tilt sensor arrays.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2013
    Assignee: Gas Technology Institute
    Inventor: James Louis
  • Patent number: 8402911
    Abstract: The invention provides an improved method and robotic apparatus for applying a structural membrane lining in conduits. The remotely controlled robot comprises a series of segment blocks maintained in alignment by flexible linear rods supported in spherical swivel bushings. The rods allow for articulation as the robot negotiates bends. Segment blocks include radial guide finger pinions and guide fingers for concentric positioning. Fingers are of engineered plastics and brass to provide ballast weight for perpendicular alignment and contain high frequency air turbine vibrators. Steering vertebrae are included to maintain concentricity of the lining dissipation cup through bends. Also included are electric servo motors controlling cables and take up wheels controlling the angle of the segment blocks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2013
    Assignee: Quest Inspar, LLC
    Inventor: Kent Weisenberg
  • Patent number: 8396610
    Abstract: It is well known that tunnels in many cases have been proven as an efficient means to overcome counter trespassing means and enable hostile entities to infiltrate a boarder or other restricted area. There is provided a method and system for efficiently detecting and locating underground tunnels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2013
    Assignee: Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd.
    Inventor: Yaacov Mashiach
  • Patent number: 8374722
    Abstract: A robotic arm is provided, for example for inspecting a rotary machine such as a gas turbine engine. The arm has a plurality of groups of links having articulations therebetween for movement in a first plane, the groups having articulations with respect to each other for movement in a second orthogonal plane. Thus the arm can move around objects such as aerofoils in the engine, and also move up or down to remain close to the rotary surface of the machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2013
    Assignee: Oliver Crispin Robotics Limited
    Inventors: Robert Oliver Buckingham, Andrew Crispin Graham
  • Patent number: 8308137
    Abstract: The invention is a remote controlled vehicle adapted for navigating inside HVAC supply trunks. It is equipped with a moveable camera and a powered tool for snagging a string or parachute propelled into the trunk by other methods. A command box is provided to view the image from the camera and control the vehicle's various functions. The installation technician inserts the vehicle into the trunk through an access hole and uses the command box to navigate the vehicle inside a HVAC trunk and locate and secure the string to the vehicle. The technician then controls the vehicle to pull the string back to the access or the technician manually pulls the vehicle back to the access by its tether.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2012
    Assignee: EMME E2MS, LLC
    Inventor: Harold Gene Alles
  • Patent number: 8261669
    Abstract: The invention provides a conveyance device, suitable for traveling along a surface and conveying an explosive charge, the conveyance device including a propulsion member having two opposite ends, the propulsion member being displaceable between a longitudinally extended position wherein the ends are displaced away from one another; and a longitudinally contracted position wherein the ends are displaced toward one another; an outer gripping member and an inner gripping member, each gripping member being displaceable between a circumferentially expanded position wherein an outer perimeter of the gripping member is displaced away from a center of the member so as to, in use, abut at least part of the surface; and a circumferentially contracted position wherein an outer perimeter of the gripping member is displaced towards the center of the member so as to be spaced apart from the surface; the propulsion member and the gripping members being configured in order for sequential displacement of the propulsion member
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2012
    Inventor: Llewellyn John Grundlingh
  • Patent number: 8205559
    Abstract: An apparatus for transporting a payload along the inside of a substantially horizontal pipe, which apparatus includes a pair of spaced apart, vertically aligned, relationally pivotably connected, rollable pipe tracking contactors, wherein pivoting of one of the pipe tracking contactors in a first direction results in pivoting of the other pipe tracking contactor in a direction opposite to the first direction. The apparatus further includes a control system which is used to maintain the vertical alignment of the pipe tracking contactors and which includes a two-dimensional tilt sensor that provides information to a controller regarding the orientation of the apparatus. Using the information from the sensor, the controller is able to correct both the lateral position and the speed of the contactors to bring the apparatus back into vertical alignment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2012
    Assignee: Gas Technology Institute
    Inventor: James Louis
  • Publication number: 20120090498
    Abstract: A conduit travelling apparatus is capable of crawling through a conduit for performing certain operation by a stepwise sequence of alternating sequences of expanding and contracting the length of the body while bracing each end alternately. The apparatus provides a self aligning element for correcting rotation of such apparatus due to powered operations it may perform, or any natural tendency to twist as it progresses. The self aligning element includes steering elements overseen by a control system which helps return the travelling apparatus to a preferred alignment during its forward or rearward travel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 14, 2009
    Publication date: April 19, 2012
    Applicant: PIPEWORKS INTERNATIONAL LIMITED
    Inventors: Mark Thomas Redpath, Babara Redpath, Colin Brian Nicholson
  • Patent number: 7954575
    Abstract: A crawler device for pulling a leader string through electrical or cable conduit. The crawler device has a traction head, for example using caterpillar-type rubber tracks, biased outwardly into contact with the inner wall of the conduit when inserted in the conduit. The traction head pulls its own motor and power supply behind it, serially and flexibly linked to follow the traction head and negotiate curves in the typically small diameter electrical conduit. In the preferred from, the power supply is a series of linked batteries, such that the crawler is an independently and self-sufficiently mobile machine traveling through the conduit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2011
    Inventors: Joel O. Bloxsom, Jason M. Romine
  • Publication number: 20110073001
    Abstract: An apparatus for transporting a payload along the inside of a substantially horizontal pipe, which apparatus includes a pair of spaced apart, vertically aligned, relationally pivotably connected, rollable pipe tracking contactors, wherein pivoting of one of the pipe tracking contactors in a first direction results in pivoting of the other pipe tracking contactor in a direction opposite to the first direction. The apparatus further includes a control system which is used to maintain the vertical alignment of the pipe tracking contactors and which includes a two-dimensional tilt sensor that provides information to a controller regarding the orientation of the apparatus. Using the information from the sensor, the controller is able to correct both the lateral position and the speed of the contactors to bring the apparatus back into vertical alignment.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 30, 2009
    Publication date: March 31, 2011
    Applicant: GAS TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE
    Inventor: James Louis
  • Publication number: 20110011299
    Abstract: An internal conduit vehicle, also called a pipeline vehicle. The vehicle includes first and second wheel assemblies that are rotated in opposite directions to move the vehicle along the pipeline, or that are mutually independent to perform a more complex movement. Each wheel assembly includes a number of wheels at the free end of wheel arms, each wheel having a spin axis that is angled in respect of an axis of the chassis. Each wheel is shaped as a rotation symmetric body with a large end and a small end, and is unilaterally mounted to a wheel arm by the large end.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 23, 2009
    Publication date: January 20, 2011
    Applicant: HELIX TECHNOLOGIES AS
    Inventor: Esben Beck
  • Patent number: 7812328
    Abstract: A radiation source apparatus for irradiating the inner walls of elongated cavities, especially for hardening of artificial resin laminates that can be radiation hardened by ultraviolet or infrared radiation, has a base body with at least one light source and multiple wheels by which the apparatus is guided inside the cavities. The multiple wheels are movably mounted on arms in a direction radial to the base body. At least one gas pressure spring is assigned to each arm, which pushes the arm from a radially proximal first position into a radially distal second position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 12, 2010
    Assignee: Brandenburger Patentverwertung GDBR
    Inventor: Wilhelm Leo Betz
  • Patent number: 7772796
    Abstract: Various robotic devices and related medical procedures are disclosed herein. Each of the various robotic devices have an agent delivery component. The devices include mobile robotic devices and fixed base robotic devices as disclosed herein. The agent delivery component can have at least one agent reservoir and a discharge component in fluidic communication with the at least one reservoir.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2010
    Assignee: Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska
    Inventors: Shane M. Farritor, Dmitry Oleynikov, Stephen R. Platt, Mark Rentschler, Jason Dumpert, Adnan Hadzialic, Nathan A. Wood
  • Patent number: 7748327
    Abstract: A moving device in a pipeline, including: more than three segments, including a front segment, arranged in series; an extendable interconnecting element to connect adjacent segments; and an engaging force changing component to change engaging force of a segment that is to be moved with the inside of the pipeline to a smaller force, smaller than the engaging force of a remaining segment with the inside of the pipeline. The front segment has a head part, a body part, a joint part to turn the head part centering around the body part, and a drive unit to move the head part around the body part. The drive unit have a magnet provided in the head part and an electromagnet provided in the body part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2010
    Assignee: Hi-Lex Corporation
    Inventor: Kazuhiro Suzuki
  • Patent number: 7685946
    Abstract: The tubular transporter for moving a submersible pump through a collecting pipe under a landfill has a set of wheels angularly mounted to a cylindrical housing in positions above a center of gravity of the transporter. The transporter has a screen at a suction end and an end plate at a discharge end. The end plate has a vent hole with an optional plug. A pressure sensor is removably mounted to the housing and operates for determining when sufficient water is present to actuate the pump. The pump discharges the water to be treated prior to being returned to the ground. A series of hose dollies are mounted to the discharge hose to enable entry into a long collection pipe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2010
    Inventor: John M. Elstone, III
  • Publication number: 20090293753
    Abstract: The invention provides a conveyance device, suitable for traveling along a surface and conveying an explosive charge, the conveyance device including a propulsion member having two opposite ends, the propulsion member being displaceable between a longitudinally extended position wherein the ends are displaced away from one another; and a longitudinally contracted position wherein the ends are displaced toward one another; an outer gripping member and an inner gripping member, each gripping member being displaceable between a circumferentially expanded position wherein an outer perimeter of the gripping member is displaced away from a center of the member so as to, in use, abut at least part of the surface; and a circumferentially contracted position wherein an outer perimeter of the gripping member is displaced towards the center of the member so as to be spaced apart from the surface; the propulsion member and the gripping members being configured in order for sequential displacement of the propulsion member
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 10, 2006
    Publication date: December 3, 2009
    Inventor: Llewellyn John Grundlingh
  • Patent number: 7597048
    Abstract: A vehicle for travel through a conduit includes a forward and a rearward member, each member being provided with a wall-engaging mechanism for selectively engaging a wall of the conduit to hold the respective member in a stationary position within the conduit. Extensible elements such as a hydraulic ram connect the members for relative movement of the forward member toward and away from the rearward member. Each wall-engaging mechanism includes a plurality of legs extendable outwardly from the respective member and a wall-engaging surface on or fixed to each leg, one actuator engages each of the legs for coordinated extension of the legs to bring each wall-engaging surface into contact with the wall of the conduit. Preferably a rotary cuter is mounted at the front of the vehicle for clearing obstructions in the conduit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2009
    Assignee: Pipeworks International Limited
    Inventor: Colin Bruce Nicholson
  • Patent number: 7543536
    Abstract: A remotely controlled, traction wheel driven, transporter moves inspection equipment within a walled cavity to check internal structural features. The inspection equipment can be mounted on a positioner pushed by the transporter, which adjusts with changing dimensions of the cavity so as to maintain the inspection equipment in a desired position or attitude, for example, centered within the cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2009
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Edward G. Sergoyan, G. Dale Davis, Ronald D. Curl
  • Patent number: 7441507
    Abstract: A moving device in pipe lines is provided, which allows easy switching of moving/stopping and remote control of the switching by only electric wires enabling easy operation in the inside of small diameter pipe lines. The moving device 10 in pipe lines comprises a guide frame 11 in which a line of three or more coils 15, 16, 17 is interconnected flexibly in the direction of magnet flux, ring-shaped permanent magnets 19, 20, 21 provided around the periphery of the guide frame slidably in the direction of the shaft, and a control means such as computers etc. to control by a preset program selecting the direction of turning on of the coils.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2008
    Assignee: Nippon Cable System Inc.
    Inventors: Makoto Teraura, Kazuhiro Suzuki
  • Publication number: 20080245258
    Abstract: A self-propelled crawler/tractor apparatus is disclosed for traveling through a tubular pipeline while conducting pipeline wall inspection operations and/or towing gear for cleaning, maintenance and the like. The crawler/tractor apparatus is propelled by a plurality of radially positioned motorized traction wheels. Each motorized traction wheel includes a brushless DC electric motor along with clutch, gearbox and other mechanical drive components integrated into a compact self-contained motorized wheel assembly which is sealed and filled with an electrically non-conductive lubricating/cooling oil. The seal integrity at each wheel assembly is maintained against oil leakage and debris ingress by a pressure-balancing mechanism which matches internal oil pressure to the exterior ambient pressure present in the pipeline. The electric motor drive for each traction wheel is individually controlled via an onboard computer to provide a wide range of torque and wheel speeds.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 6, 2007
    Publication date: October 9, 2008
    Applicant: GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY
    Inventors: William Herron, Alan A. Waggott
  • Patent number: 7398736
    Abstract: A vehicle (1) for travelling along a conduit (2) such as a pipeline having fluid flowing therein is disclosed. The vehicle comprises a first body carrying a first set of retractable bristles (12) for engaging an internal wall of the conduit such that the bristles resist movement of the first body in a first direction more than in a second direction, and a second set of retractable bristles (13) for engaging the internal wall of the conduit such that the bristles resist movement of the first body in the second direction more than in the first direction. A thread follower (16) carries a third set of resilient bristles (18) for engaging the internal wall of the conduit such that the bristles resist movement of the thread follower in the first direction more than in the second direction. A turbine (5) is actuated by fluid flow in the conduit to cause rotation of a reverse traverse screw (14) to move the first body and thread follower towards and away from each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2008
    Assignee: Durham Pipeline Technology Limited
    Inventor: Ernest Appleton
  • Patent number: 7372229
    Abstract: The present invention provides a micro-robot for use inside the body during minimally-invasive surgery. The micro-robot includes an imaging devices, a manipulator, and in some embodiments a sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2008
    Assignee: Board of Regents for the University of Nebraska
    Inventors: Shane Farritor, Dmitry Oleynikov, Steven R. Platt, Mark Rentschler, Jason Dumpert
  • Patent number: 7343863
    Abstract: An apparatus for transporting a payload along the inside of a substantially horizontal pipe. The apparatus includes vertically aligned upper and lower roller elements which are relationally pivotably connected to each other, both of which contact the inside surface of the pipe into which the apparatus is inserted. The apparatus further includes a steering pendulum which enables the apparatus to maintain a substantially vertical orientation as it is pushed or pulled through the pipe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2008
    Assignee: Gas Technology Institute
    Inventor: James Louis
  • Patent number: 7199545
    Abstract: The present invention provides a robot for use inside an open abdominal cavity during minimally-invasive surgery. The robot may include various sensors, imaging devices or manipulators.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2007
    Assignee: Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska
    Inventors: Dmitry Oleynikov, Shane Farritor, Adnan Hadzialic, Stephen R. Platt
  • Patent number: 7188568
    Abstract: A self-propelled vehicle (20) for movement within a tubular member (22) includes propulsion mechanisms (28) distributed about a core element (24). Each of the propulsion mechanisms (28) includes a drive belt (28). A first pulley (34), a second pulley (36), and a mid-roller assembly (38) are encompassed by and engage the drive belt (28). The mid-roller assembly (38) is spring-loaded for providing an outwardly-directed force (40) to an underlying portion (42) of the drive belt (28) to press the drive belt (28) against an inner wall (44) of the tubular member (22). A motor arrangement (46), in communication with the propulsion mechanisms (28), actuates one of the first and second pulleys (34, 36) to rotate the drive belt (28) in contact with the inner wall (44) of the tubular member (22) thereby moving the vehicle (20) within the tubular member (22).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2007
    Assignee: Arizona Public Service Company
    Inventor: John Hugo Stout
  • Patent number: 7126303
    Abstract: The present invention provides a micro-robot for use inside the body during minimally-invasive surgery. The micro-robot includes an imaging devices, a manipulator, and in some embodiments a sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2006
    Assignee: Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska
    Inventors: Shane Farritor, Dmitry Oleynikov, Stephen R. Platt, Mark Rentschler, Jason Dumpert
  • Patent number: 6953086
    Abstract: A traction apparatus (1) for propulsion along a bore comprises first and second traction members (6) having outwardly extending legs (14). A propulsion system for operating the traction members (6) comprises a turbine-driven shaft (7) which drives the traction members (6) by way of bearing members (15). In a first phase, one of the legs of the first traction member is moved in one direction whilst in contact with the traction surface to impart the propulsion force at the same time as one of the legs of the second traction member is moved in opposite direction whilst out of contact. In a second phase one of the legs of the second traction member is moved in said one direction whilst in contact with the traction surface to impart the propulsion force at the same time as one of the legs of the first traction member is moved in opposite direction whilst out of contact.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2005
    Assignee: Weatherford/Lamb, Inc.
    Inventor: Neil Andrew Abercrombie Simpson