ARIES (Autonomous Robotic Inspection Experimental System) is a program for the Department of Energy (DOE) that was charged with the mission of surveying and inspecting drums containing low-level radioactive waste stored in warehouses at DOE facilities. This paper reports on the final development of the ARIES project, and focuses on the mechanical design and analysis of three mechanisms that position a camera and sensor package that sits atop a Cybermotion K3A mobile robotic platform.
The ARIES project was executed through a joint effort of three parties: University of South Carolina (USC), Clemson University, and Cybermotion, Inc., of Salem, Virginia. The goal of the project was to develop an autonomous mobile robot that positions a data acquisition package (DAP) which surveys drums containing hazardous materials in Department of Energy (DOE) warehouses. The unique mechanical design of the positioning system is comprised of three distinct components: a lift mechanism, a fourbar mechanism, and a camera panning mechanism. The components are integrated in a manner that allows the DAP to be positioned from 0 to 16 feet off the ground while the robot maneuvers through aisles of drums in a warehouse. The three mechanisms, and the integration thereof, are reported in this paper.