A robot to inspect the underside of rail vehicles

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield
Department Name: Mechanical Engineering


Many components underneath trains need to be inspected to ensure that the vehicle is safe to continue in service. Currently trains need to be in a depot over a pit for most of these inspections with significant costs for both infrastructure and logistics. Axles are key components that need to be inspected. The current axle inspection techniques rely on people carrying out repetitive tasks, often in cramped and hazardous "under-train" environments. These techniques have scope for missing or not recording the findings. The potential for missing cracks means that axles are inspected more frequently than they need to be, thus increasing inspection costs.
This project is focussed on the development of the control and implementation of a semi-autonomous robot to improve the inspection of components under trains. The project will initially develop a half-scale model to establish feasibility and constraints on production/implementation before a full-size prototype is built. The project is intended to demonstrate that a step change in the cost and disruption associated with rail-vehicle inspection is possible.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S51388X/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2023
2119910 Studentship EP/S51388X/1 01/10/2018 17/12/2021 Emilios Leonidas