Published on 13-May-2024

Crawler Robots: Your Guide to the Top Robotic Crawlers

Crawler Robots: Your Guide to the Top Robotic Crawlers

Sources - PICRYL

Table of Content

The inception of robotic crawlers came from the necessity to inspect pipelines efficiently and effectively, particularly in environments inaccessible to humans. Traditional inspection methods were often cumbersome and time-consuming, requiring significant human intervention and posing safety risks in hazardous or confined spaces. Robotic crawlers addressed these challenges by offering a versatile and autonomous solution for navigating terrains and conducting thorough inspections.

Robotic crawlers have revolutionised the field of NDT by offering efficient and accurate inspection solutions in critical infrastructure such as pipelines. By autonomously navigating through pipelines and conducting inspections in real-time, these crawlers enhance the reliability and safety of infrastructure assets while minimising downtime and operational disruptions.

What are Robotic Crawlers?

A Six-legged walking robot by VEX Robotics

In Robotics terminology, a crawler is an autonomous Crawling Machine Designed to Traverse Confined Spaces, narrow passages, or challenging terrains. These mobile robotic crawlers typically feature tracks or wheels for propulsion and employ sensors and onboard systems for navigation and inspection tasks. Robotic crawlers excel in accessing terrains that are otherwise difficult or impossible for humans to navigate.

These include:

  • Narrow pipes
  • Confined spaces
  • Elevated surfaces and 
  • Underwater environments. 

Several renowned robotic crawlers have made significant contributions to the field of pipe inspection. 

  • One notable example is the Inuktun Versatrax, widely utilised for its versatility and adaptability in various industries, including oil and gas, petrochemicals, and utilities. 
  • Another prominent crawler is the BIKE Crawler Robot, by Waygate Technologies, used for Visual inspection in power plants and other applications in the oil and gas industries.

Their agile and adaptable nature allows them to traverse inaccessible working environments providing a comprehensive range of movement for inspection tasks. Crawler Robots have enhanced the reliability and longevity of Pipeline Networks by significantly improving asset management practices.

Types of Robotic Crawlers