Review Article | Open Access

A review of worm-like pipe inspection robots: research, trends and challenges

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Soft Sci 2024;4:[Accepted].
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Abstract

In recent years, the development of worm-like robots has increased significantly. These robots use peristaltic motion comprised of radial expansion and axial elongation to move leglessly through their environments. Soft worm-like robots have the advantage of conforming to their environment, making them ideal for confined spaces such as pipelines which are essential to societal infrastructure. Pipeline contamination and corrosion can be detrimental and costly and thus regular checking is vital. Some pipes are difficult to access due to size, access restrictions and harmful waste contamination (such as in nuclear power plants). This has led to an increase of research into soft worm-like robots for pipe inspection. This review will analyse the recent progress in this area to assess current robotic capabilities and where work may be further needed to ensure they are applicable to real-world applications.

Keywords

Worm robotics, pipe inspection robotics, soft robotics, inchworm, peristalsis

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Blewitt G, Cheneler D, Andrew J, Monk S. A review of worm-like pipe inspection robots: research, trends and challenges. Soft Sci 2024;4:[Accept]. http://dx.doi.org/10.20517/ss.2023.49

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© The Author(s) 2024. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, for any purpose, even commercially, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
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