Waste Barrel Inspection

Background :

The US Department of Energy maintains warehouses of waste filled barrels that must be routinely inspected. A robotic inspection system is desired to reduce the possible risks to employees. The robotic system should be capable of performing inspection tasks that can replace the visual and dexterous operations that a human operator would use to evaluate the condition of a drum. As a subpart of the overall project, a manipulator arm is required to perform such tasks as wipe sampling, bar-code reading. moving a small camera for up-close inspection of limited areas and scratching blistered paint to assess underlying barrel state.

Research Work

Phase I of this project was to develop specifications and demonstrate possible features for the system to be built in Phase II. The following was accomplished:
 Explored prototype tool changing, bar-code reading and camera inspection operations using PUMA 560 robot.
 Built prototype lifting platform that will allow smaller PUMA 260 robot to inspect a stack of barrels.
 Developed and implemented high-level control algorithms for PUMA 260 robot arm to perform anticipated inspection tasks.
 Developed specifications for a system that can be built and delivered to the Department of Energy.

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