Follow for more talkers

Tech

These robots could sneak into houses by crawling through pipes

They are designed to sneak into houses on reconnaissance missions.

Avatar photo

Published

on
Equipped with 360-degree cameras, operators are able to control them with a gaming pad. (Screenshot via Dailymotion)

By Dean Murray via SWNS

A sinister-looking army of robots may soon be crawling through your water pipes.

The so-called spider robot "SPD1" is designed to sneak into houses on reconnaissance missions.

However, the multi-legged machines have only be designed to carry out maintenance surveys and spot leaks.

Equipped with 360-degree cameras, operators are able to control them with a gaming pad.

Japanese robotics firm TMSUK say they have developed the bot as a response to failing sewer infrastructure and a lack of workers.

They say the "walking pipe survey robot" was developed in consideration of the deterioration of sewer pipes since the 1970s.

The company explains: "The total length of sewer pipes in Japan is about 490,000 km, of which about 25,000 km (5% of the total length) have passed the standard service life of 50 years, and will be expected to reach the end of the next 10 years.

"In addition, there is a chronic shortage of workers in the construction industry, especially at sewerage construction sites, and it is currently difficult to expect inspections and repairs to be completed.

"Therefore, as a new attempt to meet the diverse needs that are expected to continue to increase in the future, we have developed a highly versatile multi-legged walking pipe survey robot."

SPD1 features legs designed to flexibly conform to different inner diameters of the pipes.

The robots can investigate and work individually or in groups; with the first robot leading the way, the second robot recording the surveyed location, and the third robot doing "works" on the required location.

TMSUK say: "We are planning to announce the product model of SPD1 after conducting a demonstration experiment at the site of a sewage pipe survey.

"In addition, since it is based on general-purpose robot technology, by changing functions such as adding a workable arm, it can be applied to survey and work in narrow places where people cannot enter, other than sewage work."

Stories and infographics by ‘Talker Research’ are available to download & ready to use. Stories and videos by ‘Talker News’ are managed by SWNS. To license content for editorial or commercial use and to see the full scope of SWNS content, please email [email protected] or submit an inquiry via our contact form.

Top Talkers