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Remote Controlled Underground Robot for Landfill Drainage

[+] Author Affiliations
Vittorio Belotti, Rinaldo C. Michelini, Matteo Zoppi

University of Genova, Genoa, Italy

Paper No. ESDA2006-95465, pp. 731-738; 8 pages
  • ASME 8th Biennial Conference on Engineering Systems Design and Analysis
  • Volume 1: Advanced Energy Systems, Advanced Materials, Aerospace, Automation and Robotics, Noise Control and Acoustics, and Systems Engineering
  • Torino, Italy, July 4–7, 2006
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4248-7 | eISBN: 0-7918-3779-3
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


The environmental policy of EU, acknowledged by the Economics Ministers in June 2001 meeting, establishes a set of priorities. The present paper deals with urgent demands in these fields, with attention on pollution decreasing/removal. A survey of European Topic Centre on Waste, based on partial data only, points out the risk of sewage and leachate contamination of subsoil and waterbed for 13500 landfills. The European Council, in the Directive 97/C_76/01, requests the member states to take the necessary measures to ensure, to fullest practicable extent, that old-landfills and polluting-sites should be rehabilitated. This request is specifically addressed, with the Microdrainage project, EVK4-CT-2002-30012, successfully achieved building the robotic prototype, properly operative from mid 2005. The paper presents the innovative developments undertaken by the project. A new drilling equipment is built, suited for autonomous operation, with fully automatic effectors and rods feeding and with multi-function boring/drilling head, to comply with complex work-task schedules. The mechanical architecture needs proper sophistication, to deal with rods supplying along the micro-tunnel, local buffering to complete the lay-down of a draining line, and mast feeding by the purposely designed arm. The system implementation, thereafter, tackles with the severe technical specifications for the micro-tunnel surroundings, and exacting performance requirements in rig levelling, mast attitude accuracy and work-task sequencing. By this project, the successful deployment of these enabling technologies helped in developing the novel robotic device, capable to solve the de-pollution requirements of the EU environmental policy.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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