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Proof-of-concept prototype development of the self-propelled capsule system for pipeline inspection.

Yan, Yao; Liu, Yang; Páez Chávez, Joseph; Zonta, Florent; Yusupov, Azat


Yao Yan

Yang Liu

Joseph Páez Chávez

Florent Zonta

Azat Yusupov


This paper studies the prototype development for the self-propelled capsule system which is driven by autogenous vibrations and impacts under external resistance forces. This project aims for proof-of-concept of its locomotion in pipeline environment in order to mitigate the technical complexities and difficulties brought by current pressure-driven pipeline inspection technologies. Non-smooth multibody dynamics is applied to describe the motion of the capsule system, and two non-smooth nonlinearities, friction and impact, are considered in modelling. The prototype of the self-propelled capsule system driven by a push-type solenoid with a periodically excited rod has been designed to verify the modelling approach. The prototype contains a microcontroller, a power supply, and a wireless control module, which has been tested in a clear uPVC pipe via remote control. Various control parameters, e.g. impact stiffness, frequency and amplitude of excitation, are studied experimentally, and finally, the fastest progression of the system is obtained.


YAN, Y, LIU, Y., PÁEZ CHÁVES, J., ZONTA, F. and YUSUPOV, A. 2018. Proof-of-concept prototype development of the self-propelled capsule system for pipeline inspection. Meccanica [online], 53(8), pages 1997-2012. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 11, 2017
Online Publication Date Nov 22, 2017
Publication Date Jun 30, 2018
Deposit Date Aug 9, 2019
Publicly Available Date Aug 9, 2019
Journal Meccanica
Print ISSN 0025-6455
Electronic ISSN 1572-9648
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 53
Issue 8
Pages 1997-2012
Keywords Vibro-impact; Capsule system; Non-smooth dynamical system; Self-propulsion; Pipeline inspection
Public URL


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