Latest generation robotic crawler takes pipeline inspections to the next level
Apr 11, 2016
What has a rotating head, modular feet, can quickly navigate up to 2.9 kilometres through turbid wastewater with ease, and deliver live video and integrity information that can aid in detecting leaks and other anomalies in underground pipes?
It's the third generation robotics crawler (video) from Pure Technologies Ltd. ("Pure" or the "Company"), a global leader in the development of innovative technologies for inspection, monitoring and management of pipeline infrastructure.
"The roll out of our latest generation robot will deliver additional benefits to our clients by providing detailed, real-time, internal condition data in about half the time as the previous generation," stated Mark Holley, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company. "This will reduce our inspection time and correspondingly reduce any facility downtime. In addition, the modular design allows us to customize tools to inspect a broader variety of pipeline sizes and types."
The PureRobotics™ pipe inspection system is a modular transporter designed to carry sensors and tools through dewatered pipe or while submerged, for water, wastewater, industrial and power applications. The advanced robotic crawler is safer than manned inspections, especially for wastewater and where regulations are keeping people out of pipelines in favour of unmanned solutions. The crawler can travel a total of 2.9 kilometres from a single point of access.
"We took the PureRobotics system to the next level, designing it for extreme modularity and operational efficiency in a powerful, compact package," says James Milward, lead developer for Pure's robotic crawler. "We use a light-weight, ultra-durable, fiber optic umbilical and a highly configurable chassis for improved navigation through difficult pipe conditions, allowing clients to better assess their pipelines."
Robot's faster speed important for time-critical shutdowns
The standard system features HD digital, pan tilt zoom, closed circuit television for live video streams. The robot can be equipped with a variety of specialized tools including an inertial measurement unit for XYZ mapping geographic information, 3-D LIDAR scanning tools, or pull condition assessment tools such as 2-D laser technology that can precisely measure a pipeline's size, shape and level of corrosion.
With the new generation, the speed is doubled to 85 feet per minute, which greatly improves efficiency in the field, a huge benefit during time-critical shutdowns.
The robot's track feet are modular, and can be changed out for different styles depending on the pipeline type. The track chassis can also be expanded for large diameter pipelines. Since introduction, the robot has delivered data over more than 28,000 metres of pipe and has been deployed for clients including Austin Water Utilities, The City of Ottawa, City of El Paso and Louisville Water.
"The future for PureRobotics is adding more and more sensor capability to correlate more data about a pipeline, reaching father distances and developing new technologies," says Milward. "When I think of PureRobotics, I think of cutting edge. We've taken everything we've learned over the years and really turned it into something amazing."
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