Best Projects 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs.
Wall Climbing Device for Inspection of Large Metallic Surfaces
Explain your project in details:
The project is to design and develop a wired wall climbing device. The device will use magnets mounted on wheels which will hold it on the metallic surface due to magnetic attraction and the drive will be provided by DC geared motors. The device can be used for inspection of large metallic surfaces for the detection of cracks, corrosion and other problems on the exterior and interior of large metallic tanks as in petrochemical industries. There are various methods used for inspecting problem areas on metallic tanks. Prevalent method of inspection is to construct scaffolding structure and to manually inspect the required area by sending up an operator. This method is time-consuming and also dangerous for the operator. We designed a device that uses DC power supply to power all aspects of the device including motors, controller, and sensors. A tether cable will allow communication with the device and motion control will be achieved by wired RC controller. This allows the operator to control the device and receive real-time data from the device. Live streaming from camera will be sent to the operator console to guide the device, analyze and to record the data. The camera is mounted on Pan Tilt mechanism which allows camera to be swivelled to left-right and up-down allowing it to have a wide area of coverage. The motion of Pan Tilt will be controlled from the operator console. The device is also incorporated with a slider mechanism to have continues inspection and cover more area of inspection. This slider could be used to mount sensors which will be used for inspection. The data available from the device can be stored and analysed to predict catastrophic failures that might lead to capital, human, environmental loss. Thus it will result in cost-effective and reliable inspection device.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
It is estimated that 20% of storage tanks accidents are caused by cracks or corrosion on the tank structure. The majority of liquids stored in these tanks include crude oil and derived products which are extremely hazardous to the environment. History of these accidents has shown that these accidents lead to loss of hundreds of human life, contamination of water bodies and killing thousands of fish and other wildlife. These liquids are flammable and catch fire when such accidents occur and create air pollution causing a dangerous impact on human health and the environment. Such incidents have highlighted the need for the proper assessment of potential risks and the requirement for suitable methods of mitigation or eradication of such accidents. There are various inspection process available but such storage tank NDT inspection process is very costly, long cycle, and harmful for both environment and human inspectors. Currently, there is no inspection solution allowing for low-cost and 100% surface tank inspection. Thus our project will prove as an inspection tool, which will provide 100% internal and external surface inspection of these large metallic tanks eliminating the need for a human entry in tanks during the inspection and thereby significantly reducing the time and cost of inspection. This device will create a record of the inspection which could be further analyzed to improve the design of the tanks to reduce failures causing such accidents. This project which involves industrial innovation will provide a safe working environment and reduce accidents causing damage to the environment and prove as a tool to fulfill UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Sustainability and future plans
Our future plan involves further development in the project and developing an industry ready device by studying the first prototype and iterating for the shortcomings of the device. Our goal is to capitalize on this highly innovative robotic wall climbing device that is capable of semi-autonomously inspecting storage steel tanks. We intend to test the prototype in the in-service environment where we could understand its potential. After conducting multiple inspections and developing an industry ready inspection tool we would primarily target Indian petrochemical industries and will further expand in Asian middle-eastern markets. For the initial prototype, we have self-funded this project and we are looking for sponsors from the industry for further development of this project. We are sure that with the success of the initial prototype and looking at millions of dollars of inspection market opening with this highly innovative device companies will sponsor such project. To ensure successful commercialization we have to ensure that the device is standardized and there is some certification developed to ensure that this device is safe to use in such a flammable environment. Standard operational practice to conduct inspection and training to the operators is needed to be developed so that there will be no human errors involved in operating this device. Our further plans would include to finalize the design and develop the product which we could use in industries. After finalizing that we can work on optimizing the software which runs the device and inspection devices. Then we could go for certification and demonstration of the device and advertise it in the market. This is the plan we would follow to make our project to a product which is industry ready.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
My name is Rajat Ratnakar Gadhave, born in September 1996 in Mumbai, India. I have completed a Diploma followed by a Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering with First Class Distinction from one of the best universities in India. While doing engineering, it has taught me three important things, time management, to question everything and to find a solution to every problem and it has become a habit. I would like to call myself a thinker and learner because I try to explore alternative solutions to my problems. This project was for my Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering at Pillai College of Engineering, New Panvel affiliated to the University of Mumbai under the supervision and guidance of Dr. Richa Agrawal. This was a group project completed by me and my team members Viraj Chawan, Vibhav Pradhan and Naeem Bate. We got this idea by observing the renovation work going on in our college which involved workers climbing on scaffoldings and doing their work. We saw this and thought of this highly risky process and when researching about this we came across the inspection process of storage tanks which involved similar scaffoldings and operator performing inspection task by climbing on it. We decided to search more on this topic and design and develop a device which would make this inspection process cost-effective, reliable and involve no risk to human life. My motivation to publish this project at a global platform is to share this highly innovative device and contribute to this society and make the work environment safe. This project has been published in International Journal (IJRASET) and has received hundreds of reads, been appreciated by pundits from engineering field and many have recognized the potential of this project in making the inspection process cost-effective and safe.