All You Need to Know about Pipe Inspection Robots


All of know for sure that pipeline inspection is not the world’s cleanest or safest job. The job of a pipeline inspector involves working in conditions that are extremely unpleasant and sometimes risky. More often than not, these workspaces are quite cramped, dark, and hot. However, luckily, the advent of modern technology tools has now made this job safer and easier.

Today, robotics is one of the fastest growing fields of engineering. This field deals with creating robots that are designed specifically to eliminate the human factor from jobs that are dangerous, labour intense, and need to be performed in an inaccessible environment.

Inspection of pipelines is critical to ensuring efficiency and security in industrial plants. Application of robots has now emerged as one of the most viable solutions for specific operations such as cleaning, inspection, maintenance, etc. Pipelines are extremely important tools for any industrial setup because they help with the transportation of effluent water, drinking water, oil and gas, sewage, chemicals, and much more. As the pipelines age over a period of time, mechanical damages, corrosion, and cracks can cause problems. This is where pipe inspection robots can make all the difference.

What are Pipe Inspection Robots?

Inspection of a pipeline involves detecting the damage by actively crawling into the pipe. Naturally, this is an inherently dangerous activity. Recent studies reveal that thousands of pipeline-related incidents take place every year, causing serious injuries as well as fatalities.

Whenever we hear about robots, it may sound like something out of a science fiction. Though that is not necessarily the case, but these devices have truly revolutionised the pipeline industry. These robots are designed to eliminate the worker risk involved in pipeline inspection by alleviating the legwork and dirty work.

Pipeline inspection robots are small, battery-operated robots capable of travelling deep inside even the longest as well as most inaccessible pipelines. These robots are submersible and super easy to control and manoeuvre. Without putting themselves in any danger, maintenance teams use these robots to uncover hidden issues with the pipeline.

Advantages over Human Inspection:

We have already mentioned that the primary objective of using pipe inspection robots is to make the job safer and easier for the inspectors. However, this is just one of many reasons why businesses are willing to invest in this emerging trend.

  • Compared to human inspections, robotic inspections are more effective because they can stay inside the pipelines for a much longer duration.
  • Quicker inspection and repair is another key advantage of using inspection robots. Human inspectors can find out the issue within minutes because these robots require minimum setup time and can be deployed from anywhere.
  • Eliminates the need for onsite power supply or generators.
  • The advanced inspection robots available now are not only portable, but can also be used in a range of working conditions. These robots can travel deep within the ground level, and can be used in pipelines as narrow as six inches.
  • The entire robotic system can be controlled using a handheld remote control unit.

Austeck has been one of the industry leaders in Australia in confined space robotics since 1992. If you are looking to deploy pipeline inspection robots in your facility, please get in touch with our experts.