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Durham e-Theses
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Design study of an earthquake rescue robot

Wang, Zhelong (2004) Design study of an earthquake rescue robot. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This thesis describes the design of a brush robot for earthquake rescue and for traversing pipes with varied cross sectional shape. Earthquake rescue is a very dangerous, difficult and challenging task, in which emergency services rescue people who are trapped in man-made structures, such as collapsed buildings after an earthquake. The building collapse may have been caused by natural or man-made events. This technology is also applicable to tunnel collapse and land slips. The focus of this work is finding the location of victims and provision of primary life support and communications. To illustrate the concept of the robot, the thesis first discusses the current development of rescue robots and pipe robots. Then the thesis focuses on the description of a brush based pipe robot, developed by the University of Durham, which would be used as the basis of an earthquake rescue robot. The concept of the robot was illustrated and compared with other current rescue robots and pipe robots. After outlining the advantages of this robot concept, a robot body shape change theory was proposed and theoretical simulations were used to verily the practicality of the robot shape change theory. The thesis also illustrates the design of the working principle and design of a robot sensor, which was subsequently used in the robot shape change experiments. The robot body shape change experiments and the experimental results are described and discussed. The experimental results illustrate the robot concept and support the robot body shape change theory. Chapter 6 focuses on the brush unit traction investigation, bristle theory and mathematical model. Furthermore, the bristle theory and mathematical model were used to explain the variation of traction force in the traction experiments.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2004
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Sep 2011 09:55

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