Leaks in sewer pipes – how to check? We already have an artificial intelligence product for that!
How does Joey the robot work?
Other advantages of the Joey robot
Scientists from the British Isles have already shown the world a new artificial intelligence product. The purpose of the Joey robot – because that’s what we’re talking about – is to check sewer pipes. Thanks to such a robot, we will be able to successfully and easily find the possible cause of a sewage leak. After all, we know perfectly well that a faulty sewage system can threaten the entire building in which a particular pipe has failed. Leaks in sewage pipes – how to check? Today we have a robot at our disposal that will make it easier for us to inspect our sewage system. All thanks to the experience and work of the employees of the University of Leeds.
Let’s add that the sewer inspection machine is the fruit of the Pipebots program. The weight of this product does not exceed 70 grams, so we can be sure that it will efficiently move inside pipes with a diameter not exceeding 7.5 cm. Although the scientists did not equip the discussed product with wheels, the elementary legs are enough for the robot to move efficiently both on smooth surfaces and overcome obstacles, e.g. in the form of connecting pipes. What is very important for us, the robot will certainly not cost us much. This is due to the fact that the materials that the scientists used to make the prototype of the robot do not exceed the amount of 300 pounds.
Of course, before mass production of this robot takes place, its cost will drop significantly. In this way, we will increase access to this product. Scientists have equipped the robot with sensors whose task is to measure the distance from walls, all joints and bends. So we do not have to run the camera and turn on the lighting, which would use up energy in the battery unnecessarily. It is the microprocessor that is responsible for finding a possible problem in the sewer pipe. As a result of the lighting, microphone and camera included in the robot, we can document this damage.
The Joey robot is fully autonomous. What does this mean in practice? First of all, such a device does not have to be connected to any operator. We also do not need to use an external power source. Such a robot is able to perform its function fully independently. During laboratory tests, scientists proved that the robot independently found its way through the entire network of pipes. These pipes were constructed in a classic way and consisted of: a right and a left elbow, a tee, three straight sections, an obstacle and a dead end. The product in question – as it turned out – can also easily climb inclined pipes.
In addition, university employees designed it in such a way that it could efficiently overcome a gelatinous goo that imitates dishwashing liquid. As for the time needed to perform a full inspection of a one-meter-long pipe, the researchers estimate that only 45 seconds is enough. When the battery runs out, the robot itself will be back on the charging station. The product in question is to be ultimately waterproof and equipped with the ability to get up after falling “on the back”. Perhaps in the future such a robot will be able not only to detect defects in the sewage system, but also to correct them! This last ability is a pipe dream for now, but…who knows?