PipeGuard: Water pipe leak detection robot.

1) Sustainability problem: Detecting leaks in the aging water infrastructure posses financial and infrastructure problems to the city. Area: Water

  • Most city’s water distribution systems lose an average of 20 percent of their supply because of leaks.
  • These leaks not only make shortages worse but also can cause serious structural damage to buildings and roads by undermining foundations.
  • Leak detection systems currently in use are expensive and slow to operate, and don’t work well in systems that use wood, clay, or plastic pipes, which account for the majority of systems in the developing world.

2)  Technology

  • The PipeGuard is a small, rubbery robotic device that looks something like an oversized badminton birdie. The device can be inserted into the water system through any fire hydrant.
  • It then moves passively with the flow, logging its position as it goes. It detects even small variations in pressure by sensing the pull at the edges of its soft rubber skirt, which fills the diameter of of the pipe.
  • The device is then retrieved using a net through another hydrant, and its data is uploaded. No digging is required, and there is no need for any interruption of the water service. In addition to the passive device that is pushed by the water flow, the team also produced an active version that can control its motion.

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Sources:

  1. http://news.mit.edu/2017/robot-finds-leaks-water-pipes-0718

3) Stakeholders

  • City and local governments
  • Department of Water
  • Private citizens and local businesses.

4) Deployment 

  • Research cities who’s water infrastructure sustains the most loses due to leaks.
  • Bid for contracts with the Department in charge of the water infrastructure and the local governments to use the PipeGuard system in those areas
  • Research the scalability of the robot to other city systems such as gas pipelines.

JV2610  COMMENT TO ANOTHER BLOG POST (NEWater is tackling Island Nation’s Primary Challenge) https://makeasmartcity.com/2017/11/16/newater-is-tackling-island-nations-primary-challenge/#comments

“The process starts with sewage water that is filtered to extract larger particles, bacteria and viruses. Then, through reverse osmosis, membranes refine the water again, sifting out further contaminants and getting rid of any disease-causing agents. Finally, ultraviolet disinfection is used to make sure the water is truly pure and ready to use. The final product even exceeds the FAO’s safety standards.”

 UNI – jv2610

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