Development of a Mobile Welding Robot for Double Hull Structure in Shipbuilding

K.-Y. Lee, J. Kim, T.-W. Kim, S. Lee, D. Lee, S. Ha, N.-K. Ku, J.-H. Cha, and S.-H. Kim (Korea)


Self–driving mobile welding robot, double hull ship structure, robotmounted main controller, industrial automation.


This paper describes the development of a self-driving mobile welding robot, called ‘Rail Runner’. It runs on the faces of two longitudinal stiffeners in the longitudinal direction and moves to the transverse direction by stretching out its two sliding arms, and performs the welding tasks of the U-shaped parts in a double hull structure. To place the robot in the double hull structure, the robot can pass through an access hole with dimensions of 600mm width x 800mm height. This research addresses both the mechanical and control systems of the robot. The mechanical system of the robot consists of an 8-axes mobile platform, which can move to any location in a double hull structure mounting a 6-axes welding unit. The control system consists of a main controller, a welding machine controller (arc sensor board), and seam tracking sensors, i.e. touch sensor, laser sensor and arc sensor. The main controller, which is mounted on the back of the mobile platform, consists of a motion controller which can execute linear interpolation for all of 14 axes, 14 AC servo motor drivers and a CPU board.

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