Virginia Patent of the Month – July 2023
In the world of robotics, there’s a constant quest to push the boundaries of capability. Applied Impact Robotics, Inc., a leading innovator in the field, has recently patented a groundbreaking technology that enables robots to maneuver through viscous mixtures with ease. Their design addresses the limitations faced by contemporary robots when navigating substances like oil, sludge, sediment, and sand, opening up new possibilities for inspections and explorations in challenging environments.
The core of this breakthrough lies in the development of a specialized robot chassis. The chassis features a forward section, a rear section, and a maneuvering gimbal that connects the two. Applied Impact Robotics has integrated a drive motor within the forward section and a forward propulsion auger on its leading end. This auger, equipped with fluid nozzles, ejects a fluid to fluidize the surrounding viscous mixture. By rotating the forward propulsion auger using the drive motor, the robot gains the ability to propel itself through the fluidized medium.
The rear propulsion auger, operating in conjunction with the forward propulsion auger, creates a counter-rotating motion, enabling the robot to navigate even more effectively. By selectively pivoting the forward and rear sections about the maneuvering gimbal’s pivot axis, the robot can execute precise turns and maneuvers.
To further optimize performance, Applied Impact Robotics integrated vibration capabilities into their design. By incorporating a vibrator within the chassis, the robot can vibrate, enhancing its ability to move through the viscous mixture. The vibrations can be applied to the chassis itself, the forward propulsion auger, or even the outer sleeve surrounding the inner frame of the chassis. This feature ensures improved locomotion and reduces the risk of getting stuck in the challenging medium.
The invention offers a fluid intake system that allows the robot to connect to a remote source of fluid. By coupling the robot to this source, the primary fluid can be conveyed through the fluid intake and pumped out via the fluid nozzles in the forward propulsion auger. This capability not only enhances propulsion but also aids in fluidizing the viscous mixture, further facilitating the robot’s movement.
Applied Impact Robotics’ innovation has far-reaching implications across various industries. Tanks containing thick sediment or heavy sludge, which traditionally required draining for inspections, can now be explored without emptying the contents. This advancement reduces costs, minimizes environmental impact, and eliminates the need for harsh chemical treatments.
As the field of robotics continues to evolve, Applied Impact Robotics remains at the forefront of innovation. Their dedication to pushing boundaries and overcoming limitations sets a new standard for robotic maneuverability. With their cutting-edge technology, they are revolutionizing the way robots navigate and explore viscous mixtures, opening up a world of possibilities for industries worldwide.
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