Remotely Operated Vehicle for Oil Tank Inspection


Member profile details

Membership level
2013-2014 Team
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Team Name
Project Title
Remotely Operated Vehicle for Oil Tank Inspection
Design Challenge
Over 6 billion barrels of oil are stored in above ground tanks. Regular inspections of the tanks for defects are vital to ensuring the safe operation of the tank and preventing disaster, but current inspection methods are excessively costly. The aim of this project is to design and build a submersible robot to be used in water. The future additions of localization and sensing systems and modifications for use in oil would create system that could inspect an oil tank at only a fraction of the current cost.
Design Summary
The tank inspection vehicle is based around a multi-pump propulsion system that employs a large central pump aided by two smaller auxiliary pumps to achieve a high degree of maneuverability. The robot features a shell consisting of laser-cut acrylic pieces assembled together to give a relatively hydrodynamic shape. This shell structure has been build and it is currently being made able to stop any water ingress. Additional development is being undertaken to develop the electronic subsystems of the robot. The final prototype has illustrated the proof of concept of the final design. Future updates to address water ingress issues should be undertaken, but field tests have been completed that illustrate the maneuverability of the design. Updated 5/5/2014
Baker Hughes
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  • Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Advisor 1 - Name
Dr. Fathi Ghorbel
Faculty Advisor 1 - Department
  • BIOE
  • MECH
Faculty Advisor 2 - Name
Dr. James Dabney
Faculty Advisor 2 - Department
  • MECH
Award(s) and Recognition
Entered into 2014 ASME I-Show Design Competition.

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