Railway Track - Crack Detection Robot


There are many times and in many areas cracks will occur on railway track due to bad weather conditions, floods, cyclone, and earthquake. Not only had these climatic conditions, cracks on railway track occur due to the aging of railway track and intruders may damage the track for their benefits. A small crack on railway track will lead to a big disaster because thousands of people travelling a train. So the railway track-crack inspection is a challenging work and it should be more precise. The regular manual track-crack inspection team (or railway track maintenance team) will check each and every railway track manually and update the status to the railway authority which in turn sends the information to corresponding trains. The manual inspection method is a more time consuming and team may fail to update the information in time in some real time situations. Checking each and every track manually for cracks is a very tedious job, due to this, railway workers may show some laziness during crack inspection and may fail to inspect the railway track properly and precisely.

For the above mentioned problems, the solution should be automatic and precise. A crack detection robot will fulfill the above requirement which is automatic and precise one. A crack detection robot may use any sort of sensor technology to detect the crack on the railway track. This robot will continuously travels along the railway track and monitors about the cracks on it. If any crack is observed by the robot, it will immediately send the information to railway authority people about the location via any wireless medium. And the railway authority people will immediately respond and may further intimate to trains. This robot also marks the crack place and stores the co-ordinates of the crack position in memory. This feature is very much helpful for maintenance team to locate crack position easily.

In this project, LDR and white LED light source are used as sensor technology to detect the cracks on railway track. A track follower robot is designed and implemented with 89S52 or any suitable microcontroller as its control circuit. A Zigbee or any wireless medium which is operated with battery is used to transfer information to railway authority. A simple robotic hand is used to mark the crack position which is automatically controlled by the robot control circuit. A GPS module is integrated to the robot control circuit to track the crack position co-ordinates and stored in memory, which is very helpful during maintenance of the railway track. 


Block diagram:

Block diagram for  Railway Track - Crack Detection Robot

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