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Robot or laser to check on buried pipes? Answered

I am looking for a small robot or device that can walk through (new) 8" PVC pipe and verify that the pipe is round. That is, pipe that has already been buried. The device would start at one manhole, and walk to the next manhole, recording the slope, distance and, as mentioned, circular-ness of the pipe.
Max range required is 120 metres. D
oes not necessarily require video, but some sort of info recording that can be read once it appears at its destination manhole.



Interesting idea.

Tank tracked device would be easiest, possibly three tracks, two fixed, and one spring loaded to the roof. An LVDT sensor measures the position of the 3rd track relative to the other 2.

Put a camera on it for the hell of it.

How much deviation from round are you looking for ?

How fast do you need the data ? I'd feed the thing through an umbilical, just so you can pull the thing back if you need to - I'd ALSO arrange the drive to free-wheel if you pull it backwards....Data could be logged to an SDram card very easily.

You're right, does sound like a cool project :D

Rather than walk, roll.

A small toy car, with a digital video camera attached should be able to trundle that far for you.

Make sure you add a retrieval line of some sort, just in case.

Something like that. These pipes sometimes ave debris from construction in them, so the device needs to have some power in case it has to push something.

8 years ago

You need, what is called in the plumbing industry, a "pipe pig" or more simply a "pig."
There are pigs that will record several differing kinds of data. Contact some of the larger plumbing contractors and/or suppliers. They can tell you precisely who and what you will need to do the job.

Thanks Burf.
Yes I am familiar with the "pig" (mandrel, as it is technically known)  but am looking for an alternative. I am hoping that someone can design an inexpensive device for this job.

I've never seen nor could find any pipe inspection device other than video cameras.

Your best bet would be to contact some of the inspection equipment makers and describe your needs and see if they can point you in the right direction.

Your need to log the slope distance and roundness of the pipe in a small recoverable package is a tall order.

How accurate do you need it to be?