First Welding Inspection Robot in Vietnam to Hit the Market

The robot that automatically looks for weld defects in ship hulls which the Center of Electrical Engineering (CEE) of Duy Tan University in Danang, successfully created in 2016 becomes the first proprietary product in Vietnam.
First robot that automatically looks for weld defects in ship hulls in Vietnam
By now, the product has been registered for intellectual property rights. It is highly appreciated for its applicability and its usefulness at supporting industrial activities such as shipbuilding and large-scale construction.
 “Inspecting welds in ship hulls at shipyards used to be done by laborers,” the leader of the team explains. “This costs a lot of time and money, not to mention the narrow spaces that are difficult to reach. This is why we had the idea to create something that can automatically inspect welds to replace human labor when building a ship.”
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DTU’s automatic welding inspection robot
The fully-assembled robot can automatically hang on to a ship hull and move around to follow welds at any position. It is equipped with positional ultrasonic detectors and cameras to automatically take pictures at the locations where it makes detections.
In addition, it comes with a remote control, such that it can be controlled over a computer network or wifi and that the information it gathers can be downloaded by inspectors. When following the welds it inspects, the ultrasonic detectors will discover and record eventual faults in the welding, after which the location of the defect is broadcast to those that will remedy the problem.
Its operation and design principles allow the robot to move around more easily than the human beings who used to execute this kind of inspections by hands. The most outstanding advantage of the robot is that it is completely autonomous and that it can operate in difficult positions, even on steep slopes or vertical walls.
The automatic welding inspection robot can rapidly and easily find welding faults at even the most difficult locations
The robot moves around at 3.2 km/h. It can operate continuously for one hour using its battery, and when the battery runs low it has but to be replaced for the robot to continue its work. Thanks to its rapid movement, accurate detection, and good results, the automatic welding inspection robot allows businesses to save hundreds of millions dong per ship they build. Thanks to its efficiency, the time needed to build a ship is also reduced considerably, while the quality of the result is higher.
Welding inspection robot ready for the market
“Since 2016, we have been continuing to improve our product,” Dr Vu Duong, promoter and responsible of the research team, explained to  VTC News. “The group have already improved the mounting of the engine, made the structure more compact, lowered the center of mass of the body of the robot, improved its reception and analysis of signals, and stabilized its wifi signal against the interference present in industrial environments. We are planning to sell our product on the Vietnamese industrial market. However, due to our limited resources we cannot rule out to sell the technology to potential customers after determining its industrial value with the advice and assistance of the 2075 government program. The estimated price of the product is less than half of that of goods imported from the US.”
Awarded prizes and highly appraised
The automatic welding inspection robot undergoing test completion
The automatic welding inspection robot is a really innovative product that enjoys high appreciation. In order to design and manufacture the machine, the research team had to become experienced in mechatronics and come up with innovative solutions that are different from similar products around the world. Already when the completed robot was introduced to the public, it met with high appraisal at the 2nd Science and Technology Forum just organized by DTU in collaboration with the Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park management board under the Ministry of Science and Technology, which is aimed startups from Danang and the Central Vietnam-Central Highlands region.
The DTU research team has teamed up with the Song Thu shipbuilding company to test the ability of the robot at welding inspection on ship hulls in dockyards before starting large-scale production.
The research team has also developed several other robots, including one that automatically looks for defects in petrol tanks and a robot that checks for faults in traffic construction (bridges and roads).
(Media Center)

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