Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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Self-propelled platform for the inspection and maintenance of the train underbody

Railway inspectionRailway maintenanceRemote autonomous maintenanceTrainUnderbody inspection maintenance


Safety is essential for rail transport, the main problem in maintenance is the correct inspection of the underbody to ensure optimal braking capacity in any condition. Maintenance should be able to distinguish between suitable, damaged, worn parts, with an estimate of the times after which a replacement operation is required, but to date inspections are manual and therefore subject to high subjectivity and risks associated with incorrect assessments or intrinsic variability, furthermore there are always risks connected to the health of the operators. Alternatively, maintenance can be done in a preventive manner but also this with considerable limitations of effectiveness.


Technical features

A self-propelled apparatus for inspection and maintenance in normal conditions of the underbody of trains; the invention consists of a platform equipped with a movement system in which an active and a passive group of wheels support and allow the movement of the platform along the track even in the presence of trains above it. The platform is associated with a robotic arm with a vision system that allows maintenance operations to be carried out fully automatically and / or with the remote support of an operator.

Specifically, the invention consists of a platform (which moves parallel to the tracks) on which a robotic visual inspection system (artificial vision sensors) is mounted. Platform forward speed: up to 1 m / s. High accuracy for detection of anomalies (e.g. disconnected cables, integrity of the braking system, correct positioning of the connecting parts).

Possible Applications

  • Train maintenance;
  • Meter maintenance;
  • Tram maintenance.


  • Self-propelled apparatus comprises a vision system associated with a robotic arm linked to the platform in transverse sliding mode;
  • Platform can be used with the train placed on the rails;
  • The platform can be managed automatically thanks to a vision system and also remotely.