Publications / 2002 Proceedings of the 19th ISARC, Washington, USA

Advancements in Tele-Robotic Pipelaying

L. Bernold, B. Li
Pages 217-223 (2002 Proceedings of the 19th ISARC, Washington, USA, ISSN 2413-5844)

The labor intensive construction industry has a very high accident rate. One of the key reasons for this is the exposure of workers to a hazardous environment such as heights, confined narrow spaces, and exposure to health threatening fumes, dust, and noise. Tele-robotic operation, which allows an operator to control a mechanical tool from a safe distance, provides a technical alternative. Because of the need to be competitive on every project-bid, contractors have to be assured that new technologies not only work in the rugged environment of a construction site but that they also reduce cost. This paper will present an example of such a technology, a pipe manipulator that allows the remote installation of large concrete pipes in deep trenches. A second prototype has been built and successfully field-tested. The comparative evaluation of the new technology shows that it is not only safer but also more economical to use. With the goal to further improve agility, flexibility, and ease of operation, a third prototype has been readied for further field tests

Keywords: tele-robotics, safety, trenching, remote control, pipe-laying, trench collapse