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Anchoring system and method

Image Number 5 for United States Patent #7832488.

An anchoring module capable of being secured within a structure includes at least one compliant ring configured to radially expand and an expandable device positioned within the compliant ring to expand the compliant ring from a relaxed state to interface with the structure. The anchoring module is part of a modular system used to harvest fluid, such as oil or natural gas from a structure, such as a pipe or well. Another module of the system, sometimes referred to as a support or back-up module, employs an expandable surface that is capable of expanding to the diameter of the interior of the borehole. These modules may be combined in a variety of configurations to support a sealing element, such as an inflatable sealing element. The self-conforming nature of the system obviates the need for prior knowledge of the structure or complex sensor systems to chart the structure. The anchoring module can also be utilized in a crawling system to convey tools inside a structure.

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