The gas pipeline requires regular inspection since the leakage brings damage to the stable gas supply. Compared to current detection methods such as destructive inspection, using pipeline robots has advantages including low cost and high efficiency. However, they have a limited inspection range in the complex pipe owing to restrictions by the cable friction or wireless signal attenuation. In our former study, to extend the inspection range, we proposed a robot chain system based on wireless relay communication (WRC). However, some drawbacks still remain such as imprecision of evaluation based on received signal strength indication (RSSI), large data error ratio, and loss of signals. In this article, we thus propose a new approach based on visible light relay communication (VLRC) and illuminance assessment. This method enables robots to communicate by the ‘light signal relay’, which has advantages in good communication quality, less attenuation, and high precision in the pipe. To ensure the stability of VLRC, the illuminance-based evaluation method is adopted due to higher stability than the wireless-based approach. As a preliminary evaluation, several tests about signal waveform, communication quality, and coordinated movement were conducted. The results indicate that the proposed system can extend the inspection range with less data error ratio and more stable communication.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering