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Vol. 173, Issue 6, June 2014, pp. 41-46




Path Planning for Aircraft Fuel Tank Inspection Robot Based on Region Division

* Guochen NIU, Ziwei LI, Chengwei ZHANG, Peiyu WANG, Daowen XIAO

Robotics Institute, Civil Aviation University of China, Tianjin 300300, China
* Tel.: 86-13752255179

* E-mail: niu_guochen@139.com,


Received: 18 April 2014 /Accepted: 31 May 2014 /Published: 30 June 2014

Digital Sensors and Sensor Sysstems


Abstract: Path planning is indispensable in performing the inspection task using continuum robot in the environment like aircraft fuel tank. In order to obtain the optimal path and make it feasible for the robot traversal, a path planning strategy based on region division is put forward. The aircraft fuel tank is divided into several regions and mapped to a two-dimension plane by using dimension reduction which can reduce computation complexity. Three numerical methods are proposed in terms of different regions where the target point locates, and the shortest telescopic distance of the inspection robot can be solved. With bending and rotating of the inspection robot, the three methods ensure arbitrary point in the single cabin can be achieved. Simulation experiments are implemented on Matlab, and the accuracy, the effectiveness and feasibility of the algorithm are verified.


Keywords: Aircraft fuel tank, Continuum robot, Path planning, Dimension reduction, Region division.


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