Award-winning US-based robot assists in locating Severn Trent leaks

According to a press release by Severn Trent, it has continued to explore is trial options with US-based WatchTower Robotics’ leak-finding technology.

Designed by Dr. You Wu, the robot – named ‘Lighthouse’ – was the recipient of the James Dyson award which celebrates the ‘next generation of design engineers’.

The robot is described as able to travel with the flow of water, logging its position and relevant leak information as it continues. The data can be collected wirelessly, and once taken out of its target pipe system, can provide the user with a ‘leak map’.

“We hosted You and his robot earlier this year and we were very excited about its potential so we’re now looking at the best way forward. We’re working closely with him on a number of initiatives, including looking at a UK-specific model, and seeing whether we can partner with other, overseas, water companies in a much-extended trial,” said Bob Stear, deputy chief engineer at Severn Trent.

“Our initial aim is to get a dozen or so trial robots that we can hand out to our engineers in real world situations to see how they perform. It’s incredibly exciting and could be a real game changer when it comes to tackling leakage.”

Dr Wu added, “Severn Trent offered a valuable opportunity to pilot the new leak detection robot in the UK earlier this year. WatchTower is looking forward to expanding the pilot programme with Severn Trent and to together implement this more effective leak finding and prevention solution in the UK. Eventually, we want to make water distribution systems in the UK more efficient and sustainable.”

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