The International Information Center for Geotechnical Engineers

Monday, 11 February 2019 01:00

Robots to fix underground pipes

Robots to fix underground pipes Robots to fix underground pipes.

An innovative project suggests that robots can be employed to repair damage in underground pipes.

Detecting flaws in underground pipes is a challenging task that current technology has not managed to address efficiently. The project investigates the potential of new navigation and communication technology that could enable tracing damaged spots in the pipes.

The research will investigate how robots could be programmed to move through complex underground pipe networks, detecting and fixing leaks or damaged parts. The robots will be able to share data and communicate boosting their efficiency. In the future, industry partners will be responsible for ensuring that the project will achieve effective implementation. A set of requirements for the new technology will be introduced for robots that would operate in clean water, wastewater and gas pipes.

The University of Sheffield leads the attempt collaborating with the Universities of Bristol, Birmingham and Leeds. The project has received about $11.6 million to develop automatic systems that can detect and repair sewage pipes. If the project thrives, there will be no need for excavation repair works in the future.

"Maintaining a safe and secure water and energy supply is fundamental for society but faces many challenges such as increased customer demand and climate change. Our new research program will help utility companies monitor hidden pipe infrastructure and solve problems quickly and efficiently when they arise. This will mean less disruption for traffic and general public," Professor Kirill V Horoshenkov, leader of the project from the University of Sheffield's Department of Mechanical Engineering, stated. "This innovation will be the first of its kind to deploy swarms of miniaturized robots in buried pipes together with other emerging in-pipe sensor, navigation and communication solutions with long-term autonomy," he added.


Click the link below to watch a robotic pipe repair.

Read 165 times Last modified on Monday, 11 February 2019 15:14


Robotic Pipe Repair

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