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Pipe laying robot
Pipe laying robot
Keywords Industrial robots, Pipelines
Inventor: Frank N. Bill (USA)Patent Number: US5795101Publication date: 18 September 1998Title: Pipe laying robot apparatus and method for installing pipe
A pipe laying robot for manipulating an elongated workpiece such as a pipe section. The robot is a grasping apparatus particularly adapted for placing pipe in a trench. The apparatus is designed to be suspended from a lifting device such as a backhoe, and is adapted to grasp and manipulate the workpiece for lifting, moving, or setting the workpiece. The apparatus has a first frame, and a second frame rotatably secured to the first frame for angular rotation of the second frame about a normally vertical axis of rotation with respect to the first frame. Two or more grapplers are connected to the second frame in opposing juxtaposition and are movable between (i) an open position wherein the grasping apparatus is lowered to a position so the the grapplers straddle the workpiece, and (ii) a closed position wherein the grapplers engage and securely grasp the workpiece. A pitch actuator is provided to displace the second frame with respect to the first frame in an up or down pitching movement to thereby pitch the elongated workpiece up or down as desired. A linear displacement actuator is provided to displace the second frame with respect to the first frame and thereby displace the elongated workpiece in a linear direction substantially along its centreline. An efficient method for laying underground pipelines, such as sewer, gas pipe, or water pipelines, via use of the pipe laying robot, is also disclosed.