Pipeguard Robotics is a MIT startup whose goal is to make water distribution systems safer and more efficient.
Their robot, named Daisy, is a soft body, tetherless robot for finding leaks early and accurately in municipal water distribution pipes. It can be put into pipes from any T junctions or hydrants, and inspect the pipes without shutting down water services. The cloud based analytics platform can create a google map of leaks, informing the pipe operator the location and size of the leaks and providing repair recommendations.
The robots can only detect leaks in pressurized pipes with a flow. The minimum pressure requirement was validated at 0.8 Bar (or 10 psi), and the minimum flow speed is 0.1 m/s (0.3 ft/s). The robot can find leaks in sewage pipes as long as the sewage pipes are pressurized above 0.8 Bar and has a flow inside. Each robot is optimized for one size pipe, with the ability to adapt to 20% pipe diameter changes. The robot is soft and squeezable to avoid getting stuck in the pipe. It can bend in order to enter the pipes through T junctions, and go around pipe elbows, very sharp ones. It adapts to up to 20% pipe diameter changes due to dirt in the pipe or pipe deformation, so it is very hard to get the robot stuck in the pipe.
There are 6 issued patents and 4 pending patents on this technology.
Source and top image: Pipeguard Robotics
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