HOUDINI: Site and Locomotion Analysis-driven Design of an In-Tank Mobile Cleanup Robot

Hagen Schempf
American Nuclear Society Winter Meeting Transactions, October, 1995.


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Abstract
This paper describes design and locomotion analysis efforts to develop a new reconfigurable and collapsible working machine, dubbed Houdini, to remotely clean up hazardous-waste and petroleum storage tanks. The tethered robot system is designed to allow remote entry through man-way openings as small as 0.61m (24") in diameter, after which it expands its locomotors and opens up its collapsible backhoe/manipulator and plow to subsequently perform waste or material handling operations. The design is optimized to meet stringent site and safety requirements, and represents a viable alternative to (i) the long-reach manipulation systems proposed for hazardous storage tank cleanup, and (ii) confined-entry manual cleanup approaches. The system development has been funded to provide waste mobilization and removal solutions for the hazardous waste storage tanks in the Department of Energy (DoE) Fernald and Oak Ridge complexes. Other potential applications areas are the cleanup of heavy-crude petroleum storage tanks. The Houdini concept has been submitted to the US Patent Office and a patent has been issued (Patent # pending). We have developed a fully operational prototype which is currently undergoing testing.

Notes
Associated Center(s) / Consortia: Field Robotics Center
Associated Project(s): Houdini

Text Reference
Hagen Schempf, "HOUDINI: Site and Locomotion Analysis-driven Design of an In-Tank Mobile Cleanup Robot," American Nuclear Society Winter Meeting Transactions, October, 1995.

BibTeX Reference
@inproceedings{Schempf_1995_2063,
   author = "Hagen Schempf",
   title = "HOUDINI: Site and Locomotion Analysis-driven Design of an In-Tank Mobile Cleanup Robot",
   booktitle = "American Nuclear Society Winter Meeting Transactions",
   month = "October",
   year = "1995",
}