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Design of a climbing robot for cylindro‐conic poles based on rolling self‐locking

Jean‐Christophe Fauroux (Mechanical Engineering Research Group (LaMI), French Institute for Advanced Mechanics, Blaise Pascal University Clermont‐Ferrand II, Aubiere, France)
Joël Morillon (Robotics and Minidrone Department, Thales Optronics, Elancourt, France)

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Article publication date: 3 May 2010



The purpose of this paper is to describe designing Pobot V2, a robot capable to climb poles with a cylindrical or conical shape.


This paper describes the design of the pole‐climbing robot Pobot V2, based on the innovative principle of rolling self‐locking that uses no energy to maintain itself at a given altitude.


The robot is also capable of avoiding tangential obstacles, crossing small collars and regulating passively its normal contact force on conical poles with a diameter that evolves from 300 to 100 mm. The work is validated by experiments. The robot can also perform axial rotation, can cross‐tangential obstacles and climb poles with a strong conical shape, due to passive normal force regulation with springs and a force amplifying linkage. The first experiments showed excellent stability during vertical climbing.

Research limitations/implications

More work will be required to make the robot more rigid, more compact, and lighter. The robot is jointly patented by Thales and IFMA.


It is original because of its rolling self‐locking concept: rolling allows continuous ascension whereas self‐locking guarantees a null energy consumption while staying still on the pole.



Fauroux, J. and Morillon, J. (2010), "Design of a climbing robot for cylindro‐conic poles based on rolling self‐locking", Industrial Robot, Vol. 37 No. 3, pp. 287-292.



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