Business / Technology

Plumbing robot debuts in central China

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-07-16 17:32

WUHAN -- A wireless plumbing robot is being used in central China's Hubei province for routine checks of drainpipes in which toxic gas would put workers' lives at risk.

The robot, standing 20 centimeters tall with six independently driving wheels, easily penetrates pipes with a caliber of 15 cm to 200 cm. The camera on its head has a focus-variable lens and can rotate 360 degrees to capture any damage, jam or leakage in the pipes.

"Unlike the previous generation of wired robots, this new product can be easily operated through software on your laptop," said Zheng Hongbiao, general manager of Wuhan Easy-Sight Technology, the developer of the robot.

"With a click of the mouse, the robot can go forward and backward, make a turn or jump over an obstacle," Zheng said at a training workshop on drainpipe surveillance and assessment technology in the provincial capital Wuhan on Saturday.

The front- and rear-view images captured by the robot are displayed in real time on the computer screen. "The resolution of the front-view images is nine times higher than that of the previous generation of wired plumbing robot," Zheng said.

It takes the robot about two hours to complete a thorough check of a 1-km long pipe. Data and analysis are transmitted to the computer, again in real time.

The robot has traced more than 70,000 meters of drainpipes in seven districts in Wuhan's city proper and will be used in several other cities including Shanghai and Zhengzhou.

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