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Proceedings ofthe 2009 IEEE

International Conference on Mechatronics and Automation


August 9 - 12, Changchun, China
Development ofa Wall Climbing Robot
for Ship Rust Removal
Zhengyao Yi, Yongju Gong and Zuwen Wang Xingru Wang
Institute OfShipping Electromechanics Equipment China Ocean Shipping Company
Dalian Maritime University Cosco-Shipyard
Dalian,116026, China Dalian, 116113, China
yizhengyao@163.com wujian_hit@126.com
Fig. I Ultra-high pressure water jetting complete set of equipment
(UHPWJCE)
From this argument, the first purpose of the present paper
is to analyse the appropriate adsorption mechanism. As a wall
Wa in winch
Robot
, :
.,------
\ UHP pump system
I )ir e

r 'x1
e
;- pipe

o
l"J
X
o
E
2) A vacuum residue displaced system is designed with a
vacuum pump, whose function is recovering residue from
waste rust water by vacuum suction.
3) A walI climbing robot for ship rust removal
(WCRSRR) is the rust removal executive body, which is the
key equipment we study on. The robot works as mobile
platform and working platform, which includes two crawlers
with some permanent magnets for suction.
The main function of WCRSRR is boarding a rust
cleaner, which is a mechanical disc and can remove rust
directly . The rust cleaner can flush, scrub, scrape the walI
surface and colIect sewage automaticalIy.
As a kind of walI climbing robot, WCRSRR has some
loading abilities . Because of the requirement of UHPWJCE,
the WCRSRR should carry the loading of pipelines, which are
the vacuum residue pipeline and the ultra-high pressure water
pipeline. But, due to the variety of the climbing walI high, the
loading of pipelines is time-varying with the climbing walI
high. If the climbing high of WCRSRR increases, the loading
of pipelines wilI enlarge . When the robot climbing wall high
is higher than 20 meters, the loading of pipel ines may be over
60Kg, and the total loading of pipelines and robot body will
exceed 150Kg. Therefore, compared with the traditional walI
climbing robot, the loading of the robot is very large and time-
varying, and the weight of the robot body is very heavy. It is
the key point for WCRSRR study.
The ship surface rust removal is an important protection
project in ship building and ship repairing area. Water
hydraulics has advantages of environmental friendly,
cleanness, safety, readily available, inexpensive, and easily
disposable [I]. Recently, more and more scientific research
institutions have begin to study mangy kinds of ship rust
removal complete set of equipments, such as jet propulsion
laboratory (JPL) of Caltech, DSIE in Cartagena of Spain,
and some famous companies like Flow, Kamat, Hammelmann
and so on [2-4].
A kind of ultra-high pressure water jetting complete set of
equipment (UHPWJCE) for rust removal has widely been
studied and applied. As shown in Fig. I, its structure contains
three subsystems [5].
1) An ultra-high pressure pump unit is designed with
pressure 200-300MPa and power 110-145kW, whose function
is providing the ultra-high pressure water for the complete set
of equipment.
1. INTRODUCTION
Abstract - A kind of wall climbing robot for ship rust
removal (WCRSRR) is designed, which is the rust removal
executive body of the ultra-high pressure water jetting complete
set of equipment (UHPWJCE). Its main function is boarding a
rust cleaner. Therefore, it is a big loading wall climbing robot.
The robot structure and working principle are introduced in
detail. Three key technique questions are solved about the big
loading in the auto climbing process, which are adsorption
technique, driving technique and control technique. Firstly, the
adsorption mechanism is analyzed, and the type of permanent
magnet is chosen. Secondly, the climbing driving torque equation
is obtained by considering the change of the weight of pipeline
load and the gravity center position. According to climbing
driving torque equation, the driving characteristic is analyzed by
simulation. Finally, the control system is designed, which can be
manipulated by a hand-holding control-box remotely. The
prototype and experiments show that the robot adsorption
mechanism is reliable, the driving system and the control system
work in a good condition.
Index Terms - Big loading wall climbing robot, Ship rust
removal, Adsorption mechanism, Driving characteristic system,
Control system.
978-1-4244-2693-5 /09/$25.00 2009 IEEE 4610
climbing robot, the primary design steps prineiple of
WCRSRR is to determine the reliable adsorption foree, whieh
satisfies all kinds of requirements, such as avoiding gliding
and avoiding tip-back along the ship wall. Because of the big
loading, the adsorption force of WCRSRR will be larger than
that of the traditional wall climbing robot.
The second purpose is to study the robot driving ability
based on optimization model. Since the robot should walk
along the ship wall flexibly, the study on of driving ability of
WCRSRR is important. The driving ability of turning and
climbing is rather complex of the wall climbing robot.
The rest of this paper is organized as follows. Section II
represents the mechanical structure of WCRSRR. Section III
introduces the analysis of adsorption mechanism. Section IV
presents the driving characteristic. Section V introduces the
control system of WCRSRR. Section VI introduces the
walking experiments, and section VII concludes the paper.
II. M ECHANICAL STRUCTURE
A. Design Index
The design index ofUHPWJCE is listed as follows:
(I) Working medium: pure water,
(2) Pressure of heavy power pump: 250MPa,
(3) Jet flow rate: 27L/min,
(4) Motor power: 132kW,
(5) Volume of vacuum Tank: 1500L,
(6) Degree ofvacuum:-0.6bar,
(7) Quantity of air drawing: 30m
3
/min,
(8) Robot max speed: 50mmls,
(9) Rust removal quality grade: Sa2.5,
(10) Robot rust width: 250mm,
(II) Robot body weight : less than90Kg,
(12) Robot loading ability: 80Kg.
B. Robot Structure
The climbing robot structure is designed as shown in
Fig.2. It is driven by two motors that are connected with each
reductor. The adsorption mechanism is using two crawlers
with 72 permanent magnets. A rust cleaner with some nozzles
are set inthe centre of the robot.
The WCRSRR body consists of four parts: the adsorption
mechanism, the walking mechanism, the driving mechanism
and the frame. It is a centrosymmetric structure, and the
overall dimension is about 735x752x280 [mm
3
] . The
adsorption mechanism is made of each crawler with 36
permanent magnets, and each crawler has 15 permanent
magnets absorbing the ship wall. The walking mechanism
contains crawlers, and sprocket shafts. The driving
mechanism includes two servo motors and two reducers, and
the motors are set as opposite angle.
Fig. 3 Three-dimension structure of WCRSRR
III. ANALYSIS OF ADSORPTION MECHANISM
Considering the WCRSRR may bear a large load and be
highly reliable, the structure of wall-attaching is designed as
two crawlers with permanent magnets. It is indispensable that
the suction force can overcome the force that arisen from
robot gravity, loading of water pipelines, air pipelines and
electric cables, and friction force which arisen from vacuum
suction [6-7].
Fig. 4 Force analysis of the robot suction and climbing
The water jetting kick force (F
f
) and vacuum suction
force (F
s
) act on the working robot. Their equations are shown
in(I) and (2) [8].
I.Driving sprocket shaft 2.Driving sprocket 3. Shaft coupling 4.Reducer
5. Servomotor 6.Driven sprocket 7.Driven sprocket shaft 8.Frame 9.Safety
lock IO.Chain guard II.Rust cleaner 12.Pennancnt magnet 13.Chain
Fig. 2 Two-dimension structure ofWCRSRR
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r, =0.745q'.jP
(I)
(2)
Fig. 6 Tip-baek relation with eaeh magnet adsorption foree and inclination
angle of ship wall
1 2 1.01 115 -000 0 2 O,A 0.& 08
radla"
, - m. " ad$OtpMIlfort .
g: 60 '1.. :... : : .
i:":::..:.;.:::::r:::::r ::-::::::::;:::::'.. :-::r : ..

According to the Fig.5, the most dangerous angle (a) is
27.5, and the permanent magnet adsorption force (Fm)
approximate 48N.
B. Tip-back Analysis
As shown in Fig.c , tip-back mains the robot turning back
around the point A. In order to avoid turning back, the suction
force of permanent magnets must overcome the total torque
which arisen from gravity, vacuum suction force and water
jetting kick force. The moment balance is shown in (10) and
(II ).
"M = (F _ N )1- (Gs ina + Fr - F,)ll + GH cosa (10)
L. A ml I 2
'LMA=O (11)
F = F = (Gsin a +Fr -F, )II+ GH cos a+
N
(12)
m ml 21 I
According to the (12), if the robot work normally, the
condition in (13) is indispensable .
N, (13)
Considering the analysis of robot with water jetting kick
force and vacuum suction force, the condition of attaching is
shown in (14) :
F =F > ( G sin a + Fr - F, )/t + GH cos a (14)
m mt - 21
Set the parameters of (14), the curve between every
permanent magnet adsorption force (F
m
) and inclination angle
of ship wall (a) is shown in Fig.6.
(4)
In (I) and (2), the q is the water flow, the p is the water
pressure, and the r is the water j et radius.
The robot working platform is not only vertical but also
slope. The robot analysis of force in normal vessel wall is
shown in Fig. 4.
A. Gliding Analysis
In direction of parallel to vessel wall, the force analysis
gives the avoiding gliding condition in (3),
G . cos a ::; F; (3)
Where G is the gravity of robot, F, is the sliding friction
force, and a is the inclination angle of ship wall.
;=1
f. N = (F . _ Gsin a + Fr - F, ) (7)
L...J J n mr
;=1 n
F; = u- (nF
mi
- Gsina - F, +FJ (8)
The F
m
; is each magnet adsorption force. By analysing the
robot with water jetting kick force and vacuum suction force,
the condition of avoiding gliding is shown in (9):
G=a .
F
m
= F
m
; (---+Gsma + F, - F,)/ n
Jl
Set the parameters of (9), the curves between every
permanent magnet adsorption force (Fm) and inclination angle
of ship wall (a) is shown in Fig.5.
Considering the water jetting kick force (F
r
) and vacuum
suction force (F
s
) , the holding power (N;) of each permanent
magnet is shown in (5):
N = F . F, - F, - G sin a + N . (5)
I rm + nr
n
Where N
n
; is the holding power that arisen from the half
of the gravity, as shown in (6).
cos a
N n; = 2 (6)
t,
Where I; is the distance between every permanent magnet
and the crawler centre, H is the distance between the gravity
centre and the ship wall, and n is the number of the permanent
magnets adsorbs on the ship wall .
Then
50

1 1- force
I
40 .. ..----_. --- r' ----_.--- -

.
ID
30 -- -- .. ---- -- :-.. -----..--: --. ---_. --- -----.. -_.

.8
.
.
.

20
.
.. ._-".._-_.. ._-- _ _ __ L __ _ L
.
.
E
.
.
.
10
. ___ L _ _. L ___
U
.
ID
.
.
.
. ,
0
. . ..__ ... _-- ---_. --- -_ .. .. --- -_ .... ... -- -_. ---,
. .
. .
. .
. ,
. ,
-10
. ,
0 0.5 1 1.5 2
radian
Fig. 5 Glidmg relation Witheaeh magnet adsorption foree and inclination
angle of ship wall
According to the Fig. 6,the most dangerous angle (a) is
34.9, and the permanent magnet adsorption force (Fm)
approximate 76N.When the angle (a) is range from 0 to 4.1
or from 7304 to 90, the robot will attach the vessel wall all
along because of vacuum suction.
IV. DRIVING CHARACTERISTIC
A. Robot Climbing Model
From the Fig.a, when the robot climbs along the ship
wall, the output torque from each reducer M
Q
should satisfy
M
Q
-M
r
-M
a
= 0 (IS)
Where M
G
is the torque that arisen from the half of the
gravity, as shown in (16).
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L I 1
A magnet unit
Loading pipe
Loading gravit y C<DtT<
(25)
Owing to the l , is a variable, and its computational
complexity is very big, the (5) is easily expressed as
n /2 F. F G ' n / 2
" N I = ( F . s - f - Sill a) . " I (26)
L. I I rm + L-. ,
i =1 n i =l
Then
F. F. G
n / 2
M
Z
= 2 . (F
mi
+ s - ' f - sma)'Il;.Jl (27)
n
Due to the (21), (24) and (27), the turning driving
moment can be given by
M
Q
? [(Fmi + F
s
- F
f
Gsina) Jl' R]; L (28)
C. Optimization Model
The process of the robot climbing is rather complex. From
(20), we can know that the loading affects the robot climbing
more seriously. According to Fig.9, the loading gravity centre
changes with the climbing high. So it is important to analyse
the model deeply.
The R is the sprocket radius. When the robot tum, friction
resistance moment M
z
can be written as
n / 2 n / 2
u , =2I[(NjJl) /;l=2JlI(NJJ
i =1 i = 1
Climbing robot
According to the analysis of robot climbing model and
robot turning model as (20) and (28), we know that the
influence from the robot climbing is stronger than robot
turning. The optimization model which may evaluate the
driving characteristic can be obtained as
M
Q
?[(G
DJ
+GK)H
1
(29)
2 2 2/
1
The (29) is the optimization equation, and the concrete
process is derived as in [9]. Where GD] is the gravity of
motors and reducers, G
K
is the gravity of robot frame, HI is
the robot body gravity centre, k is the specific gravity of the
loading pipe, and h, is the distance between the ship wall and
the j oint of loading pipe on robot.
In the design of the WCRSRR, the reducer rated torque is
chosen as 260Nm. When it is assumed that the robot climbing
high is 5m, 8m, 9m and 10m, the simulation according to (29)
is taken respectively. The relationship between the unilateral
driving output torque (M
Q
) and the inclination angle of ship
wall (a) is shown in Fig. 10.
(22)
(23 )
(24)
Ship wall
M q = 2PL
P=MQ IR
The M
q
can be written as
M
M q = 2 R
QL
M _ GJ-! cosa (16)
G - 2
The M
f
is the torque that arisen from F
m
and N; in the
lowest permanent magnet, as shown in FigA and Fig.7.
Mf=Nnh (17)
According to (5) and (6), the N may be written as
.
N
- F F, -Ff -Gsma 2 (18)
n - mn + +
n t.
M
f
=(F
mn
+F;-Fe -Gsina +GcosaH)h (19)
n 2/
1
Fig. 8 Force analysis of the robot turning along the ship wall
According to (15), (16) and (19), on the premise of
avoiding gliding, the condition of robot climbing can be
expressed as
M
>(F F; - Ff - Gsina GJ-!cosa)h GJ-!cosa (20)
Q - = + + +
n 2/
1
2
B. Robot Turning Model
The turning of tracked wall climbing robot is
implemented by the velocity difference of the two crawlers.
When the robot tum on the ship wall, it is should satisfy
M
q
? M
z
(2))
Where M
q
is the turning driving moment of the each
crawler, and the M
z
is the total turning resistance moment that
arisen from every permanent magnet.
The analysis of the force that arisen from the two crawlers
along the ship wall is shown in Fig. 8.
se:
Fig. 7 The Fmoand Noin the most lower permanent magnet.
In Fig.8, the P is the traction force of every crawler, the
L is the distance of the two crawlers.
Where
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Right servo
motor
Remote
control box
WCRSRR body
Lift servo
motor
V. CONTROL SYS TEM
The control system is an important part of WCRSRR. It is
a semiautomatic control system, which is remotely
manipulated the robot by a working staff. The basic
requirements of the control system as follows[10-11],
1) The control system is reliable and flexible, and it is
convenient for the working staff to operate.
2) It is controlled by some press keys, which may be set
the multipole mobile speed.
3) Because of the adverse circumstances in the ship rust
removal filed work, the control mode is used a wired remote
control, which is simple, practical and high reliable.
Fig. 12 The frame of the WCRSRR control system
In Fig. I I, the curve of the relation between the climbing
high (I) and the inclination angle of ship wall (IX) in certain
reducer rated torque is a basing curve.
In the condition of three species of output torque, the
climbing high (I) should be less than 9m when the inclination
angle of ship wall (IX) is in the rang of 0 to 90 .When the
inclination angle is approaching 0 or 90, in other words,
when the robot is along the vertical direction, the driving
ability is the strongest. So when the inclination angle wall (IX)
is approach 0 or 90, almost all climbing high may be
allowed by the output torque.
In the typical ships, the big slope hull lines mainly
centralize at bow and stem and in general case are lower than
4m. However, in the practical working, the rust removal
workload in the board is nearly the 90% of all. Furthermore,
the inclination angle (IX) of the board is approach 0.
Therefore, the robot driving system may work in good
condition.
The inclin.uio n mglc: of shiP: :.:;w.:::o1l__---1
I. high 5m 2. high 8m 3. high 9m 4. high 10m
Fig. 10 The relation between the unilateral output torque
and the inclination angle of ship wall
15 ro
..... ...
I. reducer maximum output torque (4 16Nm)
2. theoretical output torque that arisen from motor (325 Nm)
3. reducer rated torque (260Nm)
Fig. 11 The relation between the climbing high
and the inclination angl e of ship wall in certain reducer rated torque ,
Therefore, when the climbing high is more than 9m, there
is a certain requirement between the unilateral driving output
torque and the inclination angle of ship wall. It is
indispensable to further analyse the driving characteristic
about the inclination angle of ship wall and the climbing high.
In order to study the driving characteristic, three species of
output torque such as the reducer maximum output torque, the
theoretical output torque that arisen from motor and the
reducer rated torque is set in (29), the relation between the
climbing high (I) and the inclination angle of ship wall (IX) in
certain reducer rated torque as shown in Fig. 11.
Based on the optimization model (29), four conditions are
given as follows,
1) When the climbing high is 5m and the inclination angle
of ship wall is in the range of 0 to 90, the theoretical
unilateral output torque is no more than 125Nm, which is less
than 260 Nm.
2) When the climbing high is 8m and the inclination angle
of ship wall is in the range of 0 to 90, the theoretical
unilateral output torque is no more than 250Nm, which is less
than 260 Nm.
3) However, when the climbing high is 9m or 10 m, and
the inclination angle of ship wall is in the range of 0 to 90,
the theoretical unilateral output torque is more than 260 Nm.
It does not satisfy the requirement that the reducer rated
torque is chosen as 260 Nm.
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The robot climbing and turning in the ship wall is
implemented by the left and right servo motors. When the
rotate speed and steering is the same, the robot will walk as
line. When the two motors are positive rotation, the robot goes
forward. On the contrary, when two motors are reverse
rotation, the robot goes back. Particularly, when the two
motors rotation is oppositely, the robot will tum.
The host computer and guest computer is adopted in the
WCRSRR control system as two level computer distributed
control. The guest computer is set at the baek of the robot
body, which consists of two servo motor drivers, DC power
module and control circuit board. Its function is controlling
the two servo motor drivers to drive the two servo motors, so
as to control the robot motion. The host computer consists of
AT89C51, keyboard and RS-485 interface. Its function is
sending the order to guest computer, so as to remote control
the robot. The hardware of the WCRSRR control system as
shown in Fig. 13.
Fig. 13 The hardware of the WCRSRR control system
VI. PROTOTYPE AND EXPERIMENTS
Fig. 14 The prototype and experiments ofWCRSRR
The WCRSRR prototype was tested on a steel plate in the
Cosco-Shipyard. The purpose of these tests was to see how
the tracks would stick to a steel surface, to study the effects of
turning and to see how the permanent magnets would respond
to rust and paint on the steel surface. The WCRSRR prototype
was controlled to climb both vertically and horizontally with
decent speed.
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The prototype experiments show that the robot driving
system works in a good condition.
VII. CO NCLUSIONS
In this paper, we focused on a big loading wall climbing
robot. The results of this paper are summari zed as follows:
1) The adsorption mechanism is analysed. The permanent
magnet adsorption force is chosen by analysis of gliding and
tip-back.
2) The driving characteristics of the robot climbing and
turning are analysed. The robot climbing model and robot
turning model are established. The optimization model is
given. And the driving characteristics are analysed by
simulation.
3) A semiautomatic control system of WCRSRR is
WCRSRR designed, the frame of the WCRSRR control
system is built, and the hardware of the WCRSRR control
system is manufactured.
4) A prototype is manufactured and the experiments are
taken in the Cosco-Shipyard. The prototype experiments show
that the robot driving system works in a good condition.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
This work was supported in part by National Natural
Science Foundation of China under Grant 5080501 I.
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