The Pipebots programme (www.pipebots.ac.uk) has a big ambition to help the water industry transform from a predominantly reactive towards a more proactive approach to buried pipeline and sewer monitoring, performance assessment, maintenance and management. One of the major challenges with buried water distribution pipelines and sewers is gaining access to them whilst they are in service and are subjected to differential physical, chemical and biological stresses. Pipebots’ goal is to develop swarms of miniature autonomous robots to address this challenge.
The situation with COVID-19 has had an impact on the Pipebots team and its operations. However, the team continues to work coherently tackling through modelling and simulation the grand challenge of creating autonomous robots for mapping sensing and monitoring of buried pipe infrastructure.
The team would welcome the opportunity to outline its current position, share its progress and seek ideas on how to shape the research towards and/or industry’s needs. Importantly, the Pipebots team is exploring how to formulate compelling business models that align with industry practice and with the formal and informal rules of governance which also take into account the unfolding situation. This situation may become a compelling case for automation revolution in a range of industrial sectors including the water industry.
Your insights on this process would be invaluable. Accordingly we would like to invite you to join a virtual workshop which take place via GoToMeeting on: