Louisiana Patent of the Month – August 2021

Manual tank cleaning is often a long, hazardous, and arduous process. The operator manually places a remotely operated vehicle (ROY) into position within a confined, hazardous space where it performs its specified task and then removes it again. These ROy’s improve safety, speed, and efficiency of cleaning operations. Despite these improvements, remote tank cleaning still requires extensive mounting and setup, and are limited to locations accessible by the operator. Ecoserv Technologies, LLC has designed a device that can remove materials – from sludge to solids – while overcoming the limitations of existing solutions.

Their design uses a multi-arm device where each multi-axis articulating arm (MAAA) has multiple connected arm segments. This allows for purposeful, directed motion rather than random and wasteful movement. The device is controlled via aPLC and pre-programmed algorithms which track the path taken and ensure the MAAA works to clean efficiently rather than missing sections and doubling others. The cleaning track is programmed by the operator, and the device uses positioning data to follow the route offline. The device also has a camera so that the operator can evaluate and control remotely if needed. 

The magnetized base allows the device to attach to the tank surface easily. Each arm has a nozzle attachment with dual spray ends that rotate to create a dual rotating water jet to break up material. It is also equipped with a vacuum line to suck up and remove debris as the spray nozzle breaks it up. This design better allows the device to manage a tank on their own, capable of reaching less accessible corners and requiring less maintenance from the operator. The reduced maintenance means operators have less contact with hazardous materials.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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