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Milling robot does the messy job of clearing blocked drainpipes: robot is driven by a robust air motor that is suitable for use in extreme environments.

A resilient milling robot has been developed to carry out the dirty work repairing drainage pipes, eating through any obstacle in the drain networks.


Use of the robot has the potential to reduce traffic congestion caused by digging up roads, as drainage a pipes can be repaired rather than replaced.

The EU Robot 150 milling robot is made by German firm BRM. It is inserted through a manhole into the defective drainpipe. It can clear debris, straighten pipe sockets, and bevel protruding supports. The operation is monitored by a camera and documented on DVD.

The robot is fitted with a Deprag Schulz air motor. Deprag said air motors are ideal for extreme conditions because they are robust and take up very little space.

The air motor which drives the milling head is only 118mm long and 57mm wide. It has a power output of 600W, nominal torque of 0.95Nm and speed of 12,000rpm. Deprag said it takes up a third of the space and a fifth of the weight of a comparable electric motor.

The air motor is based on a simple principle: the air pressure created by a compressor produces the rotation of the motor. In a vane motor the rotor turns in the eccentric cylinder. In its slots are vanes which are forced outwards by the centrifugal force produced. Work chambers are created for the expanding air pressure and through this expansion of the compressed supply air the pressure energy is transformed into kinetic energy and rotation is produced.

The performance delivered by the air motor is almost constant at various speeds. It can then also be operated with a wide variety of changeable loads. The motor performance can be altered through a change in the operating pressure, and the speed can be controlled by reduction in the amount of air supplied.

A plus-point for application in a milling robot is the power density of the drive. Additionally air motors can be loaded until standstill.

If the mill head does come up against a seemingly unconquerable obstacle and sits fast, then no damage is done--if overburdened, the motor just stops. When the load is removed it can run immediately again and this can occur repeatedly even in high duty cycles.

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Title Annotation:TECHNOLOGY
Publication:Professional Engineering Magazine
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 3, 2008
Previous Article:Motor offers space-saving control of pumps and fans.
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