Nihar Dattaram Masurkar
Robotics and autonomous systems
Hometown: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Graduation date: Spring 2021
MORE | Spring 2021
Design of a Controller for a Lizard Inspired Tube Inspection RobotIn this work, a smart force feedback controller is designed for a Lizard Inspired Tube Inspection (LTI) robot that has force-sensitive sensors embedded in its fingers. The primary function of this controller is to translate the robot application program and convert the commands from its source code to its respective motion. With the help of this intuitive controller, the operator would be able to set a trajectory for the robot to navigate along the length of the tube and detect any structural defects in the tube.
Mentor: Hamid Marvi
Sponsored project | Spring 2021
W. L. Gore & Associates is a uniquely creative, product leadership enterprise that has served a variety of global markets for 60 years, and provides innovative solutions that its associates stand behind. Gore established funds to support undergraduate students in the Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative program and graduate students in the Master’s Opportunity for Research in Engineering program, and values student-driven research and developing relationships with students in the programs.
How will your engineering research project impact the world?
Having a robotic solution to perform inspection of boiler tubes in power plants reduces workload of humans working in such environments. Also, with the help of such robotic solutions, we can remotely monitor and inspect boiler tubes to detect breaks or cracks, thus allowing the operator to regularly inspect boiler tubes to prevent any major damage caused by structural cracks that occur in boiler tubes.
How did receiving this sponsorship contribute to your project?
I was researching on designing a controller for a Lizard-inspired Tube Inspection (LTI) robot with 9 degrees of freedom. In order to design a controller for this robot, I needed to develop a test setup containing multiple boiler tubes and have that robot travel along the length of the tube. After my MORE budget was spent purchasing parts for the controller, this sponsorship from W. L. Gore & Associates allowed me to procure parts for the test setup and have a functional prototype of the robot navigating this tube setup. It helped me fine-tune the controller and allowed me to calibrate the controller according to this setup.
Why should other students get involved in MORE?
This program is a good incentive to pursue projects which can have a major impact. Also, when you get involved in this program, you get interact with different people in your department that is a plus side to this as well. Also, this program gives you an opportunity to work with professors and acts as a good start to your research.