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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Development of a position sensing system for a robotic guided drill Wilkinson, Nicholas Jay


This work details an investigation into possible methods for tracking the underground movement of a robotic, guided drill intended for minimizing borehole deviation in long-hole drilling applications. The work begins with a general overview of the operational constraints, followed by an in-depth exploration of several potential position sensing solutions. After a discussion concerning the benefits and disadvantages of the most interesting concepts, a MEMS gyroscope-based method for detecting the drill end effector tilt rate is chosen as the most technically feasible solution. A test apparatus is conceived and constructed to provide an initial, proof-of-concept evaluation of this approach. Experiments are conducted to determine the general performance characteristics of the gyroscope, and its suitability for the intended application. While the test results cannot be extrapolated to form a framework for establishing expected real-world drill performance, the low-cost gyroscope-based method is demonstrated to exhibit significant promise, and is proven worthy of continued attention and development.

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