by David Geer
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International Climbing Machines
Robots Go Places Humans Can’t
International Climbing Machines (ICM) robots use vacuum power to stay adhered
to tall surfaces as they maneuver about, taking care of inspections and a variety
of tasks. The robots can inspect other machines and surfaces using a video
camera payload and when equipped with lasers, these climbers can clean,
decontaminate, and prepare surfaces. Companies can attach paint sprayers,
abraders, and other tools for a variety of applications.
What Exactly are ICM Robots?
ICM climbing robots are remote controlled from a
laptop via a tether and can work, inspect, and clean where
great heights, contaminants, toxins, fatigue, and other
environmental risks could harm a human laborer.
The robots cling to any vertical or inverted surface
including brick, concrete, and metal, using a unique
patented vacuum force seal that holds the full weight of
the robot — including payloads up to a total of 225 lbs. The
climber uses two drive motors and one vacuum motor.
The ICM climbing robots are
made of advanced composites and
carbon fiber, and measure 24 inches
by 24 inches by 8 inches tall. The
abrader control assembly is 40 lbs
with a 6-12 inch cleaning path
This close-up shows the adhesion
vacuum track technology that
enables the climbing robot to
adhere to uneven and contoured
surfaces, and to carry its own weight
as well as payloads used for a
variety of inspection applications.
10 SERVO 11.2012