Example of robot motion code

Pipe-crawling robot will help decommission DOE nuclear facility

Radiation-measuring robots go where humans cannot

pipe robotsrad piper

"RadPiper is a robot developed by the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute for the Department of Energy," the university wrote. "The treaded robot moves within the pipes of uranium-enrichment facilities to determine areas where radiation levels may pose a hazard."

Now a new set of "hands" is being brought in to speed up the work. Well, not hands exactly, but a radiation sensor and a pair of flexible tracks. A small pipe-crawling robot named RadPiper will be unleashed in 15 of the 75 miles of pipes that were once used to make enriched uranium

According to a press release from Carnegie Mellon, each one-foot segment of pipe needs to have radiation measurements taken to rule out any potentially hazardous amounts of uranium-235 still left over in the pipes. If RadPiper discovers a hazardous section of pipe, it has to be removed and decontaminated. Clean sections of piping can remain in place and will be demolished with the rest of the building.

March 20, 2018
Carnegie Mellon University
A pair of autonomous robots will soon be driving through miles of pipes at the US Department of Energy's former uranium enrichment plant in Piketon, Ohio, to identify uranium deposits on pipe walls.

Robot code:


crawl (speed, distance) // moves forward for distance at speed, if speed is negative, move backwards

spinMeter(degrees) // rotates the radiation meter a number of degrees

getRadiation() // returns the amount of radiation sensed

isBlocked() // if the path ahead is blocked

wait(seconds) // stay in place for a specified number of seconds


What problems might the robot encounter? What kind of communication should it have?