UK institutions to develop robotic solutions to fix underground pipes

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, January 3, 2019
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LONDON, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- The University of Sheffield announced on Wednesday that it and three other British universities are working together to develop robotic inspection technology platform to better manage underground pipe networks.

Using funds from the government and the four universities, the collaborative team led by the University of Sheffield aims to design intelligent ways to find damaged underground water and sewage pipes so they can be repaired without disruptive excavation.

For the time being, it can be extremely difficult to find out when and where underground pipes are damaged and utility companies often have to rely on digging up roads and pavements to find out the exact problem.

The new research program will investigate ways in which robots can move freely and intelligently through complex underground networks to map and inspect pipes. These autonomous robots will be able to communicate and share data to ensure pipe defects are identified early and repaired, avoiding disruption for households and businesses.

"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," said Professor Kirill V Horoshenkov from the University of Sheffield, who is the lead academic for the project,

"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," Horoshenkov also said. Enditem

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