Miniature Pipe Inspection Robot
Trenchless pipe inspection technologies are a powerful tool for utilities and pipeline operators. But how do you access a pipe that was never designed to be inspected?
Honeybee created the Miniature Pipe Inspection Robot to navigate inside 2” ferromagnetic pipes, including around obstacles such as short-radius elbows. Currently equipped with a series of cameras for visual inspection, the robot could also serve as a platform to deliver a range of other NDT sensors.
Honeybee Robotics worked with NYSEARCH, the Northeast Gas Association’s research and development branch, to design, build and test a novel approach to natural gas distribution cased pipe sections. This robot inspection system can access pipes that were previously accessible only by costly and disruptive excavation.
Our approach uses a patent-pending magnetic Mecanum wheel technology to navigate into the annular space between the pipeline and casing. Operators can then navigate the vehicle and get real-time images of the pipe for pre-excavation inspection, or as an alternative to excavation. This technology is broadly applicable to cased natural gas distribution lines, and helps operators comply with new, stringent Federal inspection rules.