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Selected Use cases

MAINBOT proposes the use of mobile platforms for inspection tasks in large areas and vertical infrastructures. A set of application scenarios that cover the general requirements of the maintenance activities in large industries have been selected.

The ground robot has to move in a large area, the solar field, and it has to reach different inspection areas in the plant and stop at pre-established points. The climbing robot has to move in a vertical structure, a tower, and it has to reach different inspection points and stop at pre-established points.

Scenario:: Use cases

Applies to

Ubiquitous sensing

Operation 1: Mirror reflectivity measurement

  • Number of mirrors: 209.664  (each)
  • Total surface of mirrors: 510.120 m2  (each)

Ground Robot


Operation 2: Heat Transfer Fluid Leakage detection

  • Leakage detection
  • 90km of tubes (each)

Ground Robot

Surface defects

Operation 3: Coating degradation

Climbing Robot

Operation 4: Broken mirrors

Ground Robot

Operation 5: Loss of vacuum in collector pipes

Ground Robot

Internal defects

Operation 6: Corrosion, cracks

Climbing robot

Selected Scenarios

Valle Thermosolar plant

Gemasolar Thermosolar tower

Robot prototypes and mockups

Two kind of Robotic Solutions are developed in MAINBOT. Ground robot, a mobile manipulator composed of a mobile base a RobuCarTT and a 6DOF Manipulator. Vertical robot that consist of a mobile base and a internal arm for inspection system positioning.

Ground Robot

Ground platform


Ground arm

Climbing robot
Climbing robot
NDT arm
Climbing robot arm



Ground Mockup (Operation 1)


Parabolic Through mockup allows simulating the position of the mirrors that can be found in a Parabolic Through Technology solar field. It will be used to evaluate the performance of the navigation and manipulation algorithms.

The mockup consists of two curve mirrors similar to those used in the real Parabolic Through solar field. The structure allows positioning the mirrors in different angles.





Solar field mockup at IK4-Tekniker


Vertical Mockup (Operation 3 and 6)


The Receiver's panel mockup represents partially the panels of teh surface of teh receiver at the GEMASOLAR solar power plant. This mockup is used to evaluate the climbing and the sensor positioning procedures with the climbing robot (e.g. docking process, synchronized winch/axis movement, stepping mechanism, sensor guiding ...).
The image shows the mockup that consists of one full width panel (with 64 tubes) and two neighboring panels (each with 10 tubes). The height of the mockup is 5 m to realize at least two steps with the climbing robot (original panel height is 11 m). A separate test section of the center panel (5 tubes of 1.5 m length) can be individual replaced with different tubes for calibration and testing purposes. The Mockup will be erected in the facilities of the Fraunhofer IFF in Magdeburg.

Tower mockup at IIFF, part of the climbing robot



Validation with the final robot prototypes


A set of scenarios were selected at the beginning of the project in order to validate the results. Experiments related to the abovementioned operations have been performed by the robotic platforms in the scenarios.

By means of the experiments, all selected operations have been validated and the feasibility of automated inspection operations has been demonstrated.


Ground robot moving inside a loop during the experiments

Ground robot moving inside a loop during the experiments

Robot set-up

Robot setup

Robot set-up

Robot setup


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