1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In the past decade there
has been considerable effort to develop autonomous robotic vehicles for
random patrols, barrier assessment, intruder detection, reconnaissance
and surveillance, building entry, target detection, building or terrain
mapping, and explosives neutralization. Mobile robotic platforms with
the above capabilities will improve the ability to counter threats,
limit risks to personnel, and reduce manpower requirements in hazardous
With the ever-increasing
speed and power of digital systems coupled with the continuously
expanding field of robotics, it is becoming more practical to build
custom robotic systems with a degree of flexibility and freedom that was
once impossible, giving robots the ability to communicate wirelessly
and to act autonomously. Autonomous means having the power for self
governance. Autonomous vehicles detect surroundings using various
components. Advanced control systems interpret sensory information to
identify appropriate navigation paths, as well as obstacles. The
development of autonomous vehicles is intrinsically related to the
concept of feedback control and estimation theory.
The vehicle uses a global
positioning system (GPS) which is a space based satellite, established
in1960 for optimum positioning system. The vehicle can work anywhere on
or near earth. Where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or
more GPS satellites. By tracking more than four satellites a precise
position can be known.
An important area of
application of mobile robot is the process of aiding the investigation
of pipeline problems. The process of managing pipeline is through
concise and thorough investigation. Thorough investigation is a very
hectic process that involves a lot of man labour and intensive work
hours. Technology has made the process of pipeline management see the
light of a type of robot, which is an Autonomous Ground Vehicle (AGV).
AGV is an unmanned ground robotic agent which can be used for the
process of pipeline investigation. Pipeline investigation through this
robotic agent eases the burden of pipeline managers and makes work
effective. This robotic agent is able to fulfill this goal because it is
designed and developed to move along pipelines and obtain precise
information, about the pipeline smartly and wirelessly. In essence, the
robotic agent can smartly obtain the present condition of a pipeline
over a large area, and can relate the information acquired to the
pipeline managers in their base station wirelessly.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The most economical way to
transport petroleum product is through the use of pipelines. Currently,
approximately 85% of oil and gas worldwide is carried through complex
pipelines, making it the most important method of transportation. Secure
and stable pipeline transportation is therefore crucial to the
end-to-end oil and gas production process. Several items must be
considered. First, oil and gas pipelines span wide areas and transverse
extreme terrains. Under traditional pipeline management and control
models, workers have to patrol alongside the pipelines to inspect for
cracks or other events. These inspections are labour-intensive and time
consuming, and often incomplete as teams are usually only able to cover
key sites and main lines because of the distances involved.
a lot of office systems including scheduling, conferencing, and
telephone systems are used in pipeline transportation management. These
systems often run independent of each other with high Operation and
Maintenance costs and affect the efficiency of communication and
decision making. Third, pipeline transportation usually involves a
number of risks such internal or external
corrosion, cracking, third
party intrusion and manufacturing flaws, thereby leading to damage,
leakage and failure with serious economic and ecological consequences.
Third party mechanical damage has proven to be the most serious
problem encountered by pipeline industries on their facilities located
onshore. Oil spill incidence through pipeline vandalism appears to be
peculiar to Nigeria and has become rampant in recent times and if no
urgent measures are taken by the relevant Nigerian agencies, the
frequent pipeline cuts that continue to spill for weeks and months has
the capacity of undermining Government’s efforts at meeting its
obligations in spill management.
The table below shows the
most recent statistics of quantity of crude oil lost as result of
pipeline vandalism from Oil Producers Trade Section [OPTS]. From the
table, it can be seen that a total of over 5 million barrels of crude
oil was lost due to illegal bunkering facilitated by pipeline vandalism.
Furthermore, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation [NNPC)] posited
that Nigeria lost about N163billion in three years to pipeline vandalism
(LOGBABY NEWS, 2013).
Pipeline vandalism has crippled fuel supply
and incurred over N174billion in product losses and pipeline repairs
(NNPC PUBLIC RELATION, 2015).
Many lives have been lost as a result
of explosions and fire coming from vandalized pipelines carrying crude
oil and refined products when they become vandalized. The environment
has also been degraded and many farmlands
Table 1.1 crude oil lost due to vandalism (Bassey, 31)
Security Related Deferment (bbls)
Loss Due to Oil Theft / Illegal Bunkering (bbls)
1.3 Aim and Objectives
The aim of this project is to design and develop an unmanned ground robotic agent for pipeline investigation.
The specific objectives of this project are:
- To design a robotic agent with the use of microcontrollers.
- To use obstacle and motion sensors to control the movement of a robot along pipelines.
- To develop sensor nodes for real time pipeline investigation.
- To use short range RF communication devices for real time data acquisition.
- To use GSM communication for field personnel assistance.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF A ROBOTIC AGENT FOR PIPELINE INVESTIGATION
ü It makes traditional
pipeline management and control more effective. Workers can cover more
grounds during inspection, thereby saving time and reducing cost of
ü Corrosion, cracking,
third party intrusion and manufacturing flaws can be spotted early
enough for maintenance to be carried out.
ü It reduces environmental hazards.
ü It increases productivity. More products will be delivered to its required destination, thereby increasing productivity.
ü It reduces budget spent on maintenance and repair of pipelines.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE PROJECT
vehicles are the one of the most widely researched areas in electronics
and robotics. These vehicles capable of operating by themselves or at
least with minimal human help, find applications in a lot of areas where
sending humans is too dangerous or where human cognition skills are
utilized only minimally. This project is an attempt to explore this
active fieldby designing and implementing a robot that guides itself
using obstacle detection and smart wireless communication devices.
A Research proposal for design and construction of an unmanned ground robotic agent for pipeline investigation:
Reviews: A Review on design and construction of an unmanned ground robotic agent for pipeline investigation, design, construction, unmanned project topics, researchcub.info, project topic, list of project topics, research project topics, journals, books, Academic writer.
In the past decade there has been considerable effort to develop autonomous robotic vehicles for random patrols, barrier assessment, intruder detection, reconnaissance and surveillance, building entry, target detection, building or terrain mapping, and explosives neutralization. Mobile robotic platforms with the above capabilities will improve the ability to counter threats, limit risks to personnel, and reduce manpower requirements in hazardous environments... electrical and electronics engineering project topics
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF AN UNMANNED GROUND ROBOTIC AGENT FOR PIPELINE INVESTIGATION