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3DSL Rhino integrated with GE BIKE robot

The combination of the 3DSL Rhino and the GE BIKE results in an inspection robot that can easily maneuver inside of confined spaces. The ability to drive from the outside of an asset to the inside ensures that personnel do not break the plane of the manway. The ability to combine NDT methods, for example UT and 3D imaging, ensures a more complete assessment. Contact us for more information on how we can help improve the safety and reliability of confined space inspections.

We are developing software to integrate the 3D data into the control system of the BIKE robot. This will enable semi-autonomous and, eventually, autonomous operation within confined spaces.

Confined spaces are particularly challenging locations for inspection. In addition to the safety hazards, lighting within confined spaced is generally dark and the contrast ratio between damaged and undamaged materials is often low. The images below compare a 2D photo with the 3D measurement of an area inside a confined space.

2D photo of the surface compared to 3D data false colored for damage.

Because of the low contrast ratio between damaged and undamaged areas, detection of the damage in the 2D photograph is not possible. In addition, because the illuminance levels in confined spaces are low, the typical light used by a technician is generally insufficient to reliably show damage. Consequently, the probability of detection for visual inspection inside confined spaces is often below 50%. The combination of the BIKE and the 3DSL Rhino results in repeatable and reliable detection of damage. Studies have shown that for defects as small as 2 mm in diameter (0.079 inch) and as shallow as 0.2 mm (0.008 inch), the 3DSL Rhino mounted on the BIKE robot achieves the 90/95 POD criteria (90% probability of detection with a 95% confidence level).

For more information on our confined space inspection solutions contact us here.


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