The length of the buried pipes in the UK is over 2M km. These pipes deliver water, gas, electricity and communication cables to our homes and businesses. However, little is known about the condition of these pipes despite the pressure on utility companies to ensure that they operate continuously, safely and efficiently.
Why do we know so little about the condition of these pipes?
Why do we have to dig roads each time when something goes wrong with these pipes?
This talk attempts to answer these questions. It presents an overview of the state of art of the current pipe inspection technologies and problems they have.
Our vision for the future of buried pipe inspection technology with swarms of autonomous robots is presented as an alternative to the current inspection methods. Key challenges to the science underpinning this technology and its practical implementation are discussed. The talk also proposes research approaches to overcome these challenges.
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