Innovation That Matters

Outdoor faucet | Photo source Pixabay

Rubber robot can detect leaks in pipes


A new robot can travel through pipes to identify leaks and help reduce water waste.

We have seen a trend in robots intended to make our everyday lives easier and more efficient. For example, this robotic arm which makes and serves customers’ drinks. In addition to, on an industry level, a wall-climbing robot to speed up health and safety checks. This robot uses lots of sensors to ascertain safety levels. Similarly, the recent development of a robot named Lighthouse, seeks to prevent pipes bursting by identifying initial leaks.

The robot was designed by WatchTower Robotics and is small and soft. The body is made from rubber and is shaped like a badminton shuttlecock. The flexible, supple robot travels through pipes to identify any leaks. The device has a skirt of sensors which can identify any suction force caused by a leak in the pipe. The robot links to a cloud-based analytics platform where it shares any data collected concerning water leaks. This then allows users to see a map of the pipe leaks, in addition to information about their size and likelihood of leading to a burst pipe. The robot is capable of finding a leak that is just four millimetres long, making it very effective. The robot has won several awards including the 2018 Environmental Media Association Future Innovator Award.





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