Towards the development of a cyber-physical measurement system (CPMS): case study of a bioinspired soft growing robot for remote measurement and monitoring applications

Stanislao Grazioso, Annarita Tedesco, Mario Selvaggio, Stefano Debei, Sebastiano Chiodini


The most effective expression of the 4.0 Era is represented by cyber-physical systems (CPSs). Historically, measurement and monitoring systems (MMSs) have been an essential part of CPSs; however, by introducing the 4.0 enabling technologies into MMSs, a MMS can evolve into a cyber-physical measurement system (CPMS). Starting from this consideration, this work reports a preliminary case study of a CPMS, namely an innovative robotic platform to be used for measurement systems in confined and constrained remote environments. The innovative system is a soft growing robot composed of a robot base, to be placed outside the remote environments and a robot body that accesses the site through growth. A pneumatic actuation mechanism enables the controllable growth of the system through lengthening at its tip, as well as its controllable steering. The system can be endowed with sensors to enable remote measurement and monitoring tasks, or can be used to transport sensors in remote locations. A digital twin of the system is developed for simulation of a practical measurement scenario. The ultimate goal is to achieve a self-adapting, fully autonomous system for remote monitoring operations to be used reliably and safely for the inspection of unknown and/or constrained environments.

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