Shenzhen Peacock Plan Team Grant (KQTD20140630150243062), Shenzhen Key Laboratory Grant (ZDSYS201405081618 25065), the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (CUHK6/CRF/13G) and the Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Fund (ITS/112/15F).
Pipe robots can perform inspection tasks to alleviate the damage caused by the pipe problems. Usually, the pipe robots carry batteries or use a power cable draining power from a vehicle that has many equipments for exploration. Nevertheless, the energy is limited for the whole inspection task and cannot keep the inspection time too long. In this paper, we use the total input energy as the cost function and a more accurate DC motor model to generate an optimal energy-efficient velocity control for a screw-drive pipe robot to make use of the limited energy in field environment. We also propose a velocity selection strategy that includes the actual velocity capacity of the motor, according to the velocity ratio k v kv , to keep the robot working in safe region and decrease the energy dissipation. This selection strategy considers three situations of the velocity ratio k v kv and has a wide range of application. Simulations are conducted to compare the proposed method with the sinusoidal control and loss minimization control (minimization of copper losses of the motor), and results are discussed in this paper.