A robotic vehicle for travel through a conduit. The robotic vehicle includes forward and rear housings each having a hub portion, and each being provided with surface engaging mechanisms for selectively engaging the walls of the conduit such that the housings can be selectively held in stationary positions within the conduit. The surface engaging mechanisms of each housing includes a plurality of extendable appendages, each of which is radially extendable relative to the operatively associated hub portion between a retracted position and a radially extended position. The robotic vehicle also includes at least three selectively extendable members extending between the forward and rear housings, for selectively changing the distance between the forward and rear housings to effect movement of the robotic vehicle.
This invention was made with Government support under contract DE-AC05-84OR21400 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc. and the Government has certain rights in this invention.