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Apparatus for inspecting a group of containers and method of using same

United States Patent

February 28, 2012
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
An apparatus and method for inspecting a plurality of containers are provided. Each container has an outer surface for housing at least one material therein. The techniques provided involve at least one inspection vehicle and at least one detector. Each inspection vehicle has a plurality of wheels for movably positioning about the plurality of containers. The wheels may have at least one magnet for selectively adhering to the outer surface of at least one of the containers whereby the inspection vehicle traverses the container(s). The detector is positionable proximate at least one of the containers. The detector may be deployable from the inspection vehicle to a position adjacent the container(s). The detector has at least one sensor for measuring at least one characteristic of the plurality of containers. At least one base station may be provided for communicating with the inspection vehicle(s) and/or detector(s).
Lee, Jr.; James H. (Edgewood, NM), Salton; Jonathan R. (Albuquerque, NM), Spletzer; Barry L. (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
12/ 348,926
January 6, 2009
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST This invention was developed under Contract DE-AC04-94AL85000 between Sandia Corporation and the U.S. Department of Energy. The U.S. Government has certain rights in the invention.