Miniature Autonomous Pipeline Robots for Aging Water Infrastructure
Our goal is to develop a robotic inspection platform capable of full autonomy. This includes the capability to (a) harvest energy from the surrounding environment, (b) navigate and maneuver through a live pipeline network, (c) collect data concerning structural health and gas quality and (d) store/transmit any important data to other robots or a base station.
Issues Involved or Addressed
A small robotic inspection device can provide access to a large portion of the natural gas pipeline network that was previously inaccessible without extensive retrofitting costs associated with modern pigging. This can help to reduce lifetime costs associated with transportation of natural resources and increase safety of existing infrastructure near urban environments.