Pipeline Patents (Class 348/84)
  • Patent number: 11175235
    Abstract: In one embodiment, a method for mapping pipes under inspection includes generating, from a video inspection camera inserted into a pipe, one or more images of the interior of the pipe, generating video camera velocity data, and determining, based at least in part on the one or more images and the velocity data, an estimation of the interior size of the pipe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2021
    Assignee: SEESCAN, INC.
    Inventors: Mark S. Olsson, David A. Cox
  • Patent number: 11174719
    Abstract: The field of inspection assemblies and in particular to inspection assemblies that include light sources for illuminating a field of view of a camera including an elongate housing having a longitudinal axis, a camera mounted in the housing and arranged to capture an image of a region within a field of view external to the housing, a light source mounted in the housing and arranged to illuminate the field of view, and a window element mounted in the housing, the window element comprising a light transmitting material and being located such that light emitted by the light source passes through the window element before illuminating the field of view. The window element has an internal surface, closer to the light source, and an external surface, further from the light source, and the external surface comprises a concave region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2021
    Assignee: E.V. OFFSHORE LIMITED
    Inventors: Jonathan Thursby, Shaun Peck, Jonathan Brian Rudd
  • Patent number: 11110495
    Abstract: A pipeline inspection system including a first drum including a first cable having a first camera disposed on a distal end of the first cable, where the first cable is received within an interior of the first drum and is configured to be directed into a conduit, a second drum including a second cable having a second camera disposed on a distal end of the second cable, where the second cable is received within an interior of the second drum and is configured to be directed into a conduit, and a hub housing electrical components for operation of the pipeline inspection system, where the hub is removably received in the interior of the first drum, and where the hub is selectively removable from the first drum and insertable into an interior of the second drum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2021
    Assignee: Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation
    Inventors: Christopher J. Turner, Gareth Mueckl, Samuel J. Krohlow
  • Patent number: 11047368
    Abstract: A system for use in maintaining a wind turbine blade includes a motorized apparatus sized to fit within an interior cavity of the wind turbine blade and configured to travel along a length of the wind turbine blade on an interior surface when the wind turbine blade is in a substantially horizontal position. The motorized apparatus includes a body, a drive system configured to move the body, and a camera coupled to the body. The camera is configured to capture at least one image of the interior surface. The system also includes a controller configured to map the at least one image onto a model of the interior surface. The system also includes an operator interface including a display device. The operator interface is configured to display the model on the display device and receive user input allowing an operator to interact with the model.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2021
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: John Robert Hoare, Todd William Danko, Justin Foehner, Douglas R. Forman, Judith Ann Guzzo, Shiraj Sen
  • Patent number: 11041780
    Abstract: Systems and methodologies are disclosed to detect a leak in a duct system or other closed loop system. The system and methodologies use a light source to detect a leak in a duct system, e.g., the ductwork of a HVAC/R system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2021
    Inventor: John Johnson
  • Patent number: 10948904
    Abstract: The product inspection system comprises an inspection information collecting unit which collects inspection information acquired from an inspection target, an inspection time acquisition unit which acquires an inspection time that the inspection information was acquired, a recording unit which mutually associates and records the inspection information collected by the inspection information collecting unit and the inspection time acquired by the inspection time acquisition unit, and a display control unit which displays the inspection information recorded in the recording unit on a display terminal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2021
    Assignee: HITACHI, LTD.
    Inventors: Hiroyuki Yoshimoto, Naoko Ushio, Ryohei Matsui, Hiroki Ohashi, Toshinari Ishii, Daiji Iwasa
  • Patent number: 10907690
    Abstract: An asymmetric bearing device automatically decreases, without the need for manual adjustment, an amount of friction exerted against rotation of a drum or other mechanism upon reversal of the direction of rotation of the drum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 2, 2021
    Assignee: SEESCAN, INC.
    Inventors: James F. Kleyn, Eric M. Chapman, Mark S. Olsson, Michael E. Turgeon
  • Patent number: 10789850
    Abstract: A first light projector projects first slit light that spreads in the width direction of a vehicle in a direction other than a direction parallel to a contact ground surface. A second light projector projects second slit light that spreads in the width direction of the vehicle in a direction parallel to the contact ground surface. An obstacle detection unit detects an obstacle using a captured image of an area surrounding the vehicle where the first slit light and the second slit light are projected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 29, 2020
    Assignee: MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CORPORATION
    Inventors: Shintaro Watanabe, Shoichi Shimizu, Junji Hori, Wataru Tsujita
  • Patent number: 10659726
    Abstract: A system for inspecting pipelines utilizing a wireless device preferably includes a push cable inspection system, a data display unit, an interface software program and a WiFi transmitter. The push cable inspection system includes a push cable, a distance encoder and a cable reel. A video camera is attached to an end of the push cable. The distance encoder measures the distance traveled by the push cable. The data display unit receives an output from the distance encoder and the video camera. The data display unit overlays a changing numeric distance on the video feed to create a numeric video feed. The numeric video feed is transmitted by the WiFi transmitter to the wireless device. The interface software program is installed on the wireless device. The interface software program receives the numeric video feed from the data display unit and stores the numeric video feed on the wireless device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2020
    Assignee: VEMSI/HTV, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard D. Dresang, Stephen R. Frey, Kevin J. Witt, Keith F. Jacobs, Richard D. Ohlendorf, Jacob E. Kaad
  • Patent number: 10549326
    Abstract: Provided is a rinsing head for a pipe or sewer inspection system, comprising imaging means arranged at the front end and rinsing means arranged axially behind the imaging means. The rinsing means comprises a number of rinsing nozzles with openings arranged on its lateral surface and spaced apart from each other circumferentially. The rinsing nozzles are connected via to an inlet opening for pressurized water provided at the rear end of the rinsing means. A WLAN module is arranged within the rinsing head and coupled to a camera module of the imaging means operatively. An antenna unit of the WLAN module is arranged axially behind the rinsing nozzles with at least one antenna arranged at least partially radially around the inlet opening for pressurized water. The WLAN module and the antenna unit are adapted to transmit image and/or video data provided by the camera module to a control/display means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2020
    Assignee: iPEK INTERNATIONAL GMBH
    Inventors: Fabian Zahnd, Peter Henn
  • Patent number: 10488350
    Abstract: An inspection system for inspecting an internal component of a machine includes a remote controlled vehicle constructed to fit inside a desired portion of the machine; a controller operative to control an operation of the remote controlled vehicle; a tether coupled to the controller and to the remote controlled vehicle, wherein the tether is operative to transmit control signals from the controller to the remote controlled vehicle; and an imaging device extending from a front portion of the remote controlled vehicle and operative to view the internal component. The imaging device has a flexible articulating tip spaced apart from the front portion of the body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2019
    Assignee: ABB Schweiz AG
    Inventors: Hetal V. Lakhani, Cajetan Pinto, Gregory A. Cole, Gregory F. Rossano
  • Patent number: 10434547
    Abstract: A pipeline inspection device including a cable having a camera disposed on a distal end of the cable, where the camera and the cable are configured to be directed into a conduit. A first drum includes a rear wall, a front wall, and a side wall defining an interior, where the front wall has an opening providing access to the interior, and where the cable is disposed at least partially within the first drum. A stand supports the first drum, where the first drum is rotatably coupled to the stand. A hub houses electrical components of the pipeline inspection device. The hub is removably received in the interior of the first drum via the opening, where the hub is selectively removable from the first drum and insertable into an interior of a second drum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2019
    Assignee: MILWAUKEE ELECTRIC TOOL CORPORATION
    Inventors: Christopher J. Turner, Gareth Mueckl, Samuel J. Krohlow
  • Patent number: 10380729
    Abstract: A method and an arrangement for visual inspection and logging of oil and/or gas well pipes are provided. The arrangement comprises an inspection tool arranged to record, during the visual inspection, a plurality of images by recording means comprising gat least one fisheye lens. The method comprises guiding the inspection tool in an oil and/or gas well pipe, and to record a plurality of fisheye images during the guiding.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2019
    Assignee: Vision IO AS
    Inventors: Øyvind Hovland, André Hognestad
  • Patent number: 10197540
    Abstract: This disclosure describes embodiments of a probe assembly and an inspection system for ultrasonic inspection. Designs for the probe assembly package components to fit into a bore of a hollow target. These designs may incorporate electronics to generate waves and to detect a wide selection of anomalies (e.g., transversal crack, longitudinal crack, and volumetric flaws) that can form in the hollow target. The probe assembly provides support structure to manipulate and operate these electronics in the bore. This support structure facilitates communication of signals, e.g., from transducer elements that operate as a phased array. The probe assembly also includes a fluid circulating system and coupling system that permits the probe device to detach and reattach to match the probe device (and other parts of the probe assembly) to the size of the bore. These systems allow for fluid and electrical signals to circulate through the probe assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2019
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Luca Scaccabarozzi
  • Patent number: 10133277
    Abstract: A deployable docking station for supporting at least one mobile robot is provided. The deployable docking station includes a housing and an anchor connected to the housing. The anchor can engage with a surface to maintain the position of the deployable docking station. The deployable docking station is further configured to couple and decouple with the at least one mobile robot. The deployable docking station can be configured to selectively alternate between a first and second condition. In the first condition, the deployable docking station is coupled with the at least one mobile robot and the at least one mobile robot can transport the deployable docking station to a desired location on the surface. In the second condition, the deployable docking station is de-coupled from the at least one mobile robot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2018
    Assignee: SAUDI ARABIAN OIL COMPANY
    Inventors: Pablo Carrasco Zanini, Ali Outa, Fadl Abdellatif, Brian Parrott, Sahejad Patel, Hassane Trigui, Ayman Amer, Ali Shehri
  • Patent number: 10084945
    Abstract: Video inspection systems with moveable and dockable CCUs are disclosed. In one embodiment a video inspection system includes a tubular frame element, a camera control unit (CCU), and a docking apparatus mechanically coupled to the frame element so as to allow the CCU to rotate and/or be detached are attached via a user action.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2018
    Assignee: SEESCAN, INC.
    Inventors: Mark S. Olsson, James F. Kleyn, Michael E. Turgeon, Ryan B. Levin
  • Patent number: 9294737
    Abstract: Internal components of power generation machinery, including for example gas or steam industrial turbines as well as generators, are inspected a camera inspection system that is inserted and positioned within the machinery by an elongated cable carrier that has restricted cable flexure along a two-dimensional carrier cable flexure motion plane. A camera head that retains the camera is coupled to a distal end of the cable carrier. Embodiments also include a connector block coupled between the cable carrier distal end and the camera head. The connector block has a pivot axis coupled to the camera head for swinging the camera head along a camera head range of motion path that intersects the cable carrier flexure motion plane. Embodiments include a camera head swing motion drive system for selectively positioning the camera head along the camera head range of motion path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2016
    Assignee: Siemens Energy, Inc.
    Inventors: Clifford Hatcher, Jr., Richard Hatley
  • Patent number: 9143740
    Abstract: A camera based sewer evaluation vehicle has an electro-scan pipe defect detection system integrated therein. A cable and winch of the camera based system are utilized to support either a camera or an electro-scan probe. A signal transmitted through the cable is passed along for processing of signals received through the cable for final output and analysis, such as on a common computer. To facilitate electro-scan probe based pipe defect detection, a ground rod is utilized. The system can include a funnel plug downstream of the electro-scan probe for interconnection to a haul line and to assist in maintaining a liquid filled status in the pipe adjacent the electro-scan probe. A downstream bypass funnel plug or a blockade of some form can operate within and past a downstream manhole adjacent the pipe to keep the pipe filled with liquid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2015
    Assignee: Electro Scan, Inc.
    Inventors: Charles Hansen, Robert Jackson Harris
  • Patent number: 9041794
    Abstract: In one embodiment, a pipe inspection system includes a push-cable, a sonde coupled to the push-cable, a locator configured to receive signals from the sonde and generate positional information associated with the pipe based at least in part on the received sonde signals, a processing element configured to generate mapping information from the position information, and a non-transitory memory for storing the generated mapping information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: Seescan, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark S. Olsson, David A. Cox
  • Patent number: 9019364
    Abstract: A visual inspection system [100] includes a remote end [110] that is moved through a conduit [1] with a flexible pushrod [400]. The remote end [110] having at least one carriage assembly [130] with encoders [140] indicating a distance traveled within the conduit [1]. The visual inspection device [100] has a longitudinal camera [150] to identify view down the length of the conduit [1], but also has at least one transverse camera [160] adapted to visually inspect an inside surface [3] of the conduit [1]. Also, the transverse camera [160] may be used to inspect other conduits that connect to conduit [1].
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2015
    Assignee: ALSTOM Technology Ltd
    Inventors: Jacques L. Brignac, Robert E. Lucas, George Rowland
  • Patent number: 9004654
    Abstract: An ink cartridge adopts a construction in which an air seal and an ink seal are arranged on the cartridge side and in which sealing between the ink cartridge and the recording apparatus is performed with a radial seal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Hiroki Hayashi, Keisuke Matsuo, Kenta Udagawa
  • Publication number: 20150015695
    Abstract: An inner diameter measuring device, which comprises an object to be measured supporting carriage (3), being arranged movably along a rail (2) installed on an upper surface of a bed (1) and used for holding a hollow pipe to be measured (13), a supporting shaft (18) extended from a base end to a forward end of the bed, being insertable into the pipe to be measured and being cantilever-supported, and an inner diameter measuring unit (19) installed on a forward end of the supporting shaft, being insertable into the pipe to be measured and for measuring the inner surface of the pipe to be measured under inserted condition, wherein the pipe to be measured and the inner diameter measuring unit are installed along a same reference line, the object to be measured supporting carriage is movable from a condition where the inner diameter measuring unit is withdrawn from the pipe to be measured to a condition where the inner measuring unit reaches a base part of the pipe to be measured, the inner diameter measuring unit i
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 7, 2013
    Publication date: January 15, 2015
    Inventors: Michiko Baba, Kouzou Hasegawa, Norimasa Taga
  • Patent number: 8908027
    Abstract: A pipe inspection system may include a cable storage drum and a length of resilient flexible push-cable. An asymmetric bearing device supports the cable storage drum for rotation about the rotational axis in a pay-out direction and an opposite pay-in direction. In one embodiment, the asymmetric bearing device automatically decreases, without the for manual adjustment, an amount of friction exerted against rotation of the cable storage drum upon reversal of the direction of rotation of the cable storage drum from the pay-out direction to the pay-in direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2014
    Assignee: Seescan, Inc.
    Inventors: James F. Kleyn, Eric M. Chapman, Mark S. Olsson, Michael E. Turgeon
  • Publication number: 20140340505
    Abstract: A portable camera controller for use with a pipe inspection system is disclosed. The controller may include an onboard display, USB ports, wireless capability, and a built-in transmitter for energizing a pipe-inspection cable for tracing purposes. The camera controller may be configured to support auto-logging and automatic report generation of pipe inspection operations and associated locating operations. The camera controller may be self-grounding using conductive and/or capacitive grounding circuits and an associated transmitter may be used without a separate grounding stake through use of the conductive and/or capacitive grounding circuits.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 14, 2014
    Publication date: November 20, 2014
    Applicant: SEESCAN, INC.
    Inventors: Mark S. Olsson, Dawn E. Shaffer
  • Publication number: 20140333753
    Abstract: Push-cables and associated apparatus and systems are disclosed. In one embodiment, a push-cable assembly for use with a pipe inspection system may include a push-cable element having a proximal end and a distal end, with a spring assembly having varying flexibility coupled to or near the distal end. The spring assembly may include an outer coiled spring having a proximal and a distal end, and an inner coiled spring nested at least partially within the outer coiled spring. A camera head and/or other elements such as a cutting or jetting apparatus may be coupled at or near the distal end.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 6, 2014
    Publication date: November 13, 2014
    Applicant: SEESCAN, INC.
    Inventors: Eric M. Chapman, Mark S. Olsson, James F. Kleyn
  • Publication number: 20140320631
    Abstract: Systems for inspecting pipes or cavities including a camera head having an array of two or more imaging elements with overlapping Fields of View (FOV) are disclosed. The camera head may include one or more light source elements, such as LEDs, for providing illumination in dimly lit inspection sites, such as the interior of underground pipes. The imaging elements and LEDs may be used in conjunction with a remote display device, such as an LCD panel of a camera control unit (CCU) or monitor in proximity to an operator, to display the interior of a pipe or other cavity.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 12, 2014
    Publication date: October 30, 2014
    Applicant: SEESCAN, INC.
    Inventors: Mark S. Olsson, Eric M. Chapman, Nicholas A. Smith
  • Publication number: 20140313316
    Abstract: Camera heads having multiple image sensors, configured to provide digitally articulated images or video, at adjustable resolutions and/or offsets and orientations, to a camera control unit (CCU) or other electronic computing system for display, storage, and/or transmission to other systems are disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 29, 2014
    Publication date: October 23, 2014
    Applicant: SEESCAN, INC.
    Inventors: Mark S. Olsson, Scott Powell, Stephanie Bench, Ray Merewhether, David Cox, Eric Chapman
  • Publication number: 20140285656
    Abstract: A camera skid and thrust nozzle assembly for supporting a camera while being positioned in a tubular pipe or conduit spaced. from any wall of the conduit and permitting movement of the assembly along the conduit. The assembly includes a cage rotatably fastened to a high pressure fluid tractor nozzle, wherein the cage can rotate about an axis through the tractor nozzle. A camera support structure is fastened within the cage for rotation of the support structure about the axis independent of rotation of the cage. The camera support structure has a weight attached thereto for urging rotational orientation of the camera support structure within the cage according to a sensed external gravitational force on the assembly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 14, 2014
    Publication date: September 25, 2014
    Applicant: STONEAGE, INC.
    Inventors: Gerald Zink, Rawlin Brown
  • Publication number: 20140247338
    Abstract: A spray nozzle with a camera comprising: (a) a nozzle having an adapter for attaching a hose and one or more jets; and (b) a camera operatively connected to said nozzle, said camera comprising at least: (i) a water-proof housing having a transparent window on one end of said housing, said housing being configured for attachment to said nozzle; (ii) an imaging device in said housing with a field of view through said window; (iii) one or more lamps to illuminate at least a portion of said field of view; and (iv) a memory device operatively connected to said imaging device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 4, 2014
    Publication date: September 4, 2014
    Applicant: Envirosight LLC
    Inventor: Peter Kessler
  • Publication number: 20140218501
    Abstract: An inspection system configured for “no-blow” use in a pressurized gas pipeline includes a push rod wound around a spool for convenient deployment and portability. A camera disposed on one end of the push rod is configured to relay images back to a monitor. A motor is configured for remote actuation by an operator, and provides for self-propelled movement of the camera in the pipeline. An entry tube is configured for sealed entry into the pipeline to facilitate entry of the camera and push rod. A guide shoe at the end of the entry tube provides a smooth transition for the camera and push rod as it leaves the entry tube and enters the pipeline. An automatically deployable and retractable positioning system is used to keep the camera away from an interior surface of the pipeline, and in the case of smaller pipelines, centers the camera within the pipeline.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 7, 2014
    Publication date: August 7, 2014
    Applicant: ULC Robotics, Inc.
    Inventors: G. Gregory Penza, George Lohr, Hermann Herrlich
  • Publication number: 20140210989
    Abstract: Among other things, techniques, systems, methods and computer readable storage medium with executable instructions relating to the viewing of data from and the controlling of the operation of an inspection camera at a remote computing device that is connected to the inspection camera via a network are described. Various features may be realized by using an installable software application or a web browser at the remote computing device. Features of the invention also pertain to a smart cable storage drum comprising a push cable, an inspection camera, and a network transceiver configured to communicate with a remote computer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Publication date: July 31, 2014
    Inventors: Mark S. Olsson, Michael Martin, Paul Stuart, Phillip Castaneda, Tran Nguyen, Fred Ollinger
  • Publication number: 20140204197
    Abstract: A portable camera controller for use with a pipe inspection system is disclosed. The controller may include an onboard display, USB ports, wireless capability, and a built-in transmitter for energizing a pipe-inspection cable for tracing purposes. The camera controller may be configured to support auto-logging and automatic report generation of pipe inspection operations and associated locating operations. The camera controller may be self-grounding using conductive and/or capacitive grounding circuits and an associated transmitter may be used without a separate grounding stake through use of the conductive and/or capacitive grounding circuits.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 12, 2013
    Publication date: July 24, 2014
    Inventors: Mark S. Olsson, Dawn E. Shaffer
  • Publication number: 20140192179
    Abstract: A portable inspection unit is provided. The portable inspection unit may include a unit body, a flexible cable, and an imager housing, The flexible cable may extend from the unit body and the imager housing may be disposed at a distal end of the flexible cable. The portable inspection unit may be configured to receive an actuating accessory.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 9, 2014
    Publication date: July 10, 2014
    Applicant: Inspectron, Inc.
    Inventors: Brent F. Lyons, Tye L. Newman, Shepherd H. Whitcomb
  • Publication number: 20140176696
    Abstract: Camera heads and associated rotating contact assemblies are disclosed. In one embodiment a slip-ring assembly includes a rotating contact assembly including slip rings having a cylindrical ring assembly and a flexible or bendable brush assembly. Brush elements may flexed to remain in contact with corresponding ring assembly electrical contacts. Bush contacts may be coated or have attached contact assemblies to increase hardness and oxide resistance with materials such as palladium nickel, rhodium, or hard gold, though a variety of other materials may be used as a suitable coating.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 20, 2013
    Publication date: June 26, 2014
    Applicant: SEESCAN, INC.
    Inventors: Eric M. Chapman, Mark S. Olsson, Nicholas A. Smith
  • Patent number: 8760507
    Abstract: A light dispersal unit or light pipe for a video imaging device includes a transparent body. The body includes a tubular ring having an outer diameter and a through bore defining an inner diameter. Four equidistantly spaced raised portions are homogenously joined to the tubular ring. The ring has a semi-circular shape corresponding to the outer and inner diameters of the tubular ring. The raised portions each include a slot created between opposed first and second extending portions, the slot having an end wall and opposed first and second slot walls. A rounded end face defines a free end of each of the first and second extending portions facing away from the tubular ring. The rounded end face includes at least two curved portions each having a different radius of curvature. The light pipe can be a tapered light pipe having a flange portion for mounting the tapered light pipe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2014
    Assignee: Inspectron, Inc.
    Inventors: Al Boehnlein, Owen W. Draper
  • Publication number: 20140168406
    Abstract: In one embodiment, a self-leveling camera head may include an eccentric leveling weight assembly that is supported inside an outer housing for free rotation about an axis. The leveling weight assembly may be removably coupled to a separate camera module assembly supported inside the outer housing for rotation about the axis so that its images will be “upright,” i.e. earth normal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 22, 2013
    Publication date: June 19, 2014
    Inventors: Mark S. Olsson, David A. Cox, Brett D. Lobree
  • Publication number: 20140168407
    Abstract: A video pipe inspection system may include a push-cable, camera head, and pipe guide having a pair of cylindrical shells, with each shell having a plurality of radially extending circumferentially spaced vanes and structure for holding the shells together when the shells are axially mated end-to-end. A pair of curved tab arms may extend circumferentially about corresponding ones of the cylindrical shells. A pair of slide-locks may be configured to slide over corresponding ones of the tab arms to move them into a locking position in which keys on the tab arms extend between adjacent coils of a coil spring surrounded by the shells.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 20, 2013
    Publication date: June 19, 2014
    Inventors: Mark S. Olsson, Eric M. Chapman, Allen W. Tucker, Dawn E. Shaffer
  • Publication number: 20140152802
    Abstract: A camera head for inspecting pipes or cavities including an array of two or more imaging elements with overlapping Fields of View (FOV) is disclosed. The camera head may include one or more light source elements, such as LEDs, for providing illumination in dimly lit inspection sites, such as the interior of underground pipes. The imaging elements and LEDs may be used in conjunction with a remote display device, such as an LCD panel of a camera control unit (CCU) or monitor in proximity to an operator, to display the interior of a pipe or other cavity.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 9, 2013
    Publication date: June 5, 2014
    Applicant: SEESCAN, INC.
    Inventors: Mark S. Olsson, Eric M. Chapman, Nicholas A. Smith
  • Publication number: 20140152803
    Abstract: The present invention relates generally to the inspection of pipes, and the like, and more particularly to the remote inspection of ferromagnetic pipes. The invention teaches apparatus comprising, in combination: a vehicle equipped with a plurality of wheels capable of propelling the vehicle within a predetermined ferromagnetic environment to be inspected; means for remotely applying drive forces to said wheels; said wheels including a plurality of passive non-driven rollers; said passive rollers including magnetized means; means for acquiring visual images of the condition of said pipes; and means for remotely accessing said visual images; thereby enabling remote inspection of said pipes. An immediate environment in which the use of the present invention is contemplated is in inspection of ferromagnetic pipes which are located above and/or below ground.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 14, 2013
    Publication date: June 5, 2014
    Inventors: Lee Carlson, Jeffrey Shasho, Nishant Kumar, Jason Herman
  • Publication number: 20140146161
    Abstract: A pipe inspecting robot for traveling along the surface of a pipeline, the robot having a body, first and second independently articulating legs attached to the body, and first and second leg motors in controlling communication with the first and second articulating legs, respectively. The robot also has first and second pairs of wheels attached to the first and second articulating legs at an opposite end of the legs from the body. The first and second leg motors are configured so that when the first pair of wheels encounters an obstacle, the second leg motor rotates the second leg upward away from the surface of the pipeline and radially around the body until the second pair of wheels contacts the surface of the pipeline on an opposite side of the obstacle, after which the first leg motor rotates the first leg upward away from the surface of the pipeline and radially around the body until the first pair of wheels contacts the surface of the pipeline, thereby causing the robot to pass over the obstacle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 11, 2013
    Publication date: May 29, 2014
    Inventor: Fadi Sibai
  • Publication number: 20140130745
    Abstract: Sensor system with a sensor device having a through-flow cell for liquid, a detector device for measuring a property of the liquid in the through-flow cell and for generating an associated detector signal, a sensor control for analyzing the detector signal, wherein the sensor control detects a liquid transition between two different liquids in the through-flow cell when a change (per unit time) in the detector signal is greater is than a threshold value. In the case of such a liquid transition detection, the sensor control generates an alarm signal. Liquid transition detection is carried out by optical, temperature and/or conductivity sensors.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 20, 2014
    Publication date: May 15, 2014
    Applicant: LELY PATENT N.V.
    Inventors: Frans Emo Diderik VAN HALSEMA, Pieter Gerlof DE GROOT, Hélèna Geralda Maria VIJVERBERG
  • Patent number: 8723943
    Abstract: An inspection system configured for “no-blow” use in a pressurized gas pipeline includes a push rod wound around a spool for convenient deployment and portability. A camera disposed on one end of the push rod is configured to relay images back to a monitor. A motor is configured for remote actuation by an operator, and provides for self-propelled movement of the camera in the pipeline. An entry tube is configured for sealed entry into the pipeline to facilitate entry of the camera and push rod. A guide shoe at the end of the entry tube provides a smooth transition for the camera and push rod as it leaves the entry tube and enters the pipeline. An automatically deployable and retractable positioning system is used to keep the camera away from an interior surface of the pipeline, and in the case of smaller pipelines, centers the camera within the pipeline.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Inventors: G. Gregory Penza, George Lohr, Hermann Herrlich
  • Publication number: 20140092234
    Abstract: A data acquisition system for determining the state of a tubular while the tubular rotates about its cylindrical axis. The tubular remains otherwise substantially stationary. Sensors travel up and down the length of the rotating tubular, interrogating the inside and outside of the tubular for data regarding the tubular's state. Sensors may take samples which may be associated with rotational reference information tying the sample to its absolute position on the internal or external surface of the tubular. A data processor processes the samples and other sensor data to produce a wide array of output, including data signatures of the tubular, maps of contour data regarding the internal or external surface of the tubular, and dimensional data regarding the tubular. Data acquisition is advantageously done in real time, and may further be done concurrently with internal or external cleaning operations.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 27, 2013
    Publication date: April 3, 2014
    Applicant: Extreme Hydro Solutions, L.L.C.
    Inventors: William C. Thomas, William J. Thomas, III, Perry J. DeCuir, JR., Jeffrey R. Wheeler, Stuart J. Ford
  • Publication number: 20140071266
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a system having an optically transparent substrate having a first side and a second side that are opposed to each other, a microprocessor, a database, a camera disposed upon the first side of the optically transparent substrate and a source of illumination. The source of illumination is disposed in a ring around the camera on the first side and is operative to illuminate the object disposed on the second side of the optically transparent substrate. Further the camera is in operative communication with the microprocessor and the database. The camera is operative to capture an image of an object disposed upon the second side of the optically transparent substrate. The microprocessor is operative to calculate dimensions and geometry of the object from the image and facilitate acceptance or rejection of the object based upon a standard, a parameter or a calibration chart.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 16, 2013
    Publication date: March 13, 2014
    Applicant: ALSTOM Technology Ltd
    Inventors: Matthew David ALLEN, Allan Gunn Ferry, Ronald Francis Konopacki, Robert F. Crocker
  • Publication number: 20140063229
    Abstract: Camera heads configured to provide digitally articulated images or video, at adjustable resolutions and/or offsets and orientations, to a camera control unit (CCU) or other electronic computing system for display, storage, and/or transmission to other systems are disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 30, 2013
    Publication date: March 6, 2014
    Inventors: Mark S. Olsson, Scott Powell, Roger Shaffer, Stephanie Bench, Ray Merewhether, David Cox, Eric Chapman
  • Patent number: 8643716
    Abstract: A method and system for steam leak detection. The method comprises obtaining real-time temperature data representing a heat dissipation of a steam pipe along a steam pipe route, processing the real-time temperature data in real-time to determine at least one indication of a potential steam leak based on the real-time temperature data and to generate a processed image for display, and displaying the processed image to depict the heat dissipation of the steam pipe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2014
    Assignee: Power Survey LLC
    Inventors: David Kalokitis, Jonathan Lloyd Schepps, Peng Chang
  • Publication number: 20140022374
    Abstract: A visual inspection system [100] includes a remote end [110] that is moved through a conduit [1] with a flexible pushrod [400]. The remote end [110] having at least one carriage assembly [130] with encoders [140] indicating a distance traveled within the conduit [1]. The visual inspection device [100] has a longitudinal camera [150] to identify view down the length of the conduit [1], but also has at least one transverse camera [160] adapted to visually inspect an inside surface [3] of the conduit [1]. Also, the transverse camera [160] may be used to inspect other conduits that connect to conduit [1].
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 17, 2012
    Publication date: January 23, 2014
    Inventors: Jacques L. Brignac, Robert E. Lucas, George Rowland
  • Patent number: 8633980
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a monitoring apparatus having a detachable display device and a power failure protection, wherein the monitoring apparatus comprises a main body and the display device. When the display device is installed to the main body, a second terminal socket of the display device and a first terminal socket of the main body are inlaid, such that corresponding connecting terminals exposed out of the main body and display device can be electrically conducted with each other. When the display device is detached from the main body, a second switch of the display device and a first switch of the main body are in an opened status respectively, such that the connecting terminals exposed out of the main body and display device cannot receive electric power, however, the main body and display device can still be electrically coupled by a transmission line through corresponding ports thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2014
    Inventor: Da-Ming Liu
  • Publication number: 20140009598
    Abstract: For pipeline inspection, a small, untethered capsule (a “piglet”) images from within a pipeline. The capsule is small enough that rotation about any of three orthogonal axes while within the pipeline is possible. Movement both along the pipeline and perpendicular to the longitudinal axis is possible. To assure images of the pipeline without viewing gaps, the field of view for imaging surrounds the capsule without a gap. Given the possible rotation and translation, the captured images may be motion compensated to provide oriented images of a length of the pipeline.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 12, 2012
    Publication date: January 9, 2014
    Applicant: Siemens Corporation
    Inventors: Thomas O'Donnell, Theodore James Mallinson, Yakup Genc, Anton Schick
  • Patent number: 8619134
    Abstract: An unmanned apparatus for use in traversing and inspecting at least a portion of an elongated structure. The unmanned apparatus includes at least one structural member defining a recess sized and configured to receive the portion of the elongated structure. In one aspect, the unmanned apparatus includes a clamping mechanism coupled to the structural member, wherein the clamping mechanism is capable of detachably attaching the unmanned apparatus to the elongated structure. A locomotion system is actuated while the unmanned apparatus is attached to the elongated structure causing the unmanned apparatus to traverse at least a portion of the elongated structure. The unmanned apparatus includes a plurality of cameras and/or at least one sensor capable of providing information regarding the structural integrity of the interior and/or exterior of the elongated structure. A method of inspecting and traversing at least a portion of the elongated structure is also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2013
    Assignee: SeaTrepid International, LLC
    Inventor: Robert D. Christ