Spherical ultrasonic motor drive system for camera orientation in pipe inspection

Masahiko Hoshina, Tomoaki Mashimo, Naoki Fukaya, Osamu Matsubara, Shigeki Toyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


We propose a camera actuating system using a spherical ultrasonic motor for inspection of the inside wall of a small pipe. The spherical ultrasonic motor has advantages that include three degrees of freedom, high responsiveness and high accuracy all within a compact body. We describe here the development of an outer rotor spherical ultrasonic motor (OR-SUSM) that enables a camera to rotate by more than 360° along the side of the pipe. All components, including the OR-SUSM, the sensing system, and the electric circuits, are designed to be assembled in the pipe inspection device with outer diameter of 52 mm. To control the system, the phase difference and frequency of the applied voltages are used. The rotational direction is determined by the phase difference and the angular velocity is controlled by the frequency. The completed system can be controlled to within 2° in an experimental pipe inspection test.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-209
Number of pages11
JournalAdvanced Robotics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • multi-DOF
  • piezoelectric actuator
  • pipe inspection
  • ultrasonic motor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Science Applications


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