Robot to Detect Pipeline Leakages Designed by Indian Engineers

Necessity is indeed the mother of invention.


Necessity is indeed the mother of invention, especially for pipeline leakages.

When the news frequently tell pipeline problems along Pedder Road and Thane in Santacruz in Mumbai, India, engineer brothers Rohit and Rahul Kashyap thought that something should be done with it. So they took the matter into their hands and developed their own device to detect the leaks and cracks that cause such problems.

Robot to Detect Pipeline Leakages (Photo credit: Flickr)

Called the Semi-Autonomous Pipeline Exploration Robot, or SAPER for short, the device can travel inside pipelines no smaller than a few inches tall and identify the defects of the pipeline’s innards. It could take photographs and relay them to its controller via sensors.

Rohit is a third year student of electronics engineering in Vivekanand Education Society’s Institute of Technology, while Rahul is a student in Somaiya College.  The former said, “Most pipelines that carry water, oil or gas are located underground where they come under earth pressure apart from traffic on the road surface above. With time and age the metal degrades and corrodes, causing leakage that is both expensive and dangerous. Once a pipeline is damaged, excavating the ground is the only way to repair it.” The latter added that their device can be manufactured for Rs 12,000-15,000 and has the potential to prevent leakage of water, oil and gas from underground pipes once it is fine-tuned.

Robot to Detect Pipeline Leakages (Photo credit: Flickr)

According to the two, current techniques in detecting leaks and cracks by the BMC involve sounding mukadams who tap a stick on the ground and detect faults by sound, which are done barely once a year due to lack of manpower. But BMC’s hyradulic engineer Ashok Tawadia said that other than the sounding mukadams, there are CCTV cameras let to roam inside pipes to check for leaks. Another technique is by releasing an inert gas, which is helium, inside the pipeline to identify if it emanates from a leakage

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Robot to Detect Pipeline Leakages Designed by Indian Engineers

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