On Optimizing Autonomous Pipeline Inspection
Xin Li, Member, IEEE, Wuyi Yu, Student Member, IEEE, Xiao Lin, and S. S. Iyengar, Fellow, IEEE
Abstract—This paper studies the optimal inspection of autonomous robots in a complex pipeline system. We solve a 3-D region-guarding problem to suggest the necessary inspection spots. The proposed hierarchical integer linear programming optimization algorithm seeks the fewest spots necessary to cover the entire given 3-D region. Unlike most existing pipeline inspection systems that focus on designing mobility and control of the explore robots, this paper focuses on global planning of the thorough and automatic inspection of a complex environment. We demonstrate the efficacy of the computation framework using a simulated environment, where scanned pipelines and existing leaks, clogs, and deformation
can be thoroughly detected by an autonomous prototype robot.