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Advanced Robotics

Robotic Solutions For Leaky Pipes

One of the most important resources that are worth protecting worldwide is fresh water. We’re not just talking about water in developing nations like Africa. We’re also talking about water in areas like the United States.

A prime example is the city of Monterrey located in Mexico. Each year, they lose an estimated 40 percent of their fresh water due to leaks throughout their distribution pipes. This equates to almost $80 million in lost revenue each year.

The large amount of water they lose each year is likely the reason they agreed to be a pilot location for researchers at MIT. They recently developed an innovative robotic system that is capable of detecting even the smallest leaks.

Most standard leak detection systems that are available today cannot be used in systems that use materials like plastic, clay, and wood. This means they are practically useless in developing countries. The product being developed at MIT doesn’t have these limitations. This is why so many industry professionals are excited about this new robot being developed at MIT.

The product being developed by MIT looks a bit odd at first glance. It looks like something that belongs in a badminton match instead of snaking its way through pipes. However, the technology it uses is very sensitive and can detect even the smallest leaks.

It recently passed a series of trials provided by PipeTech LLC where the robot had to traverse over two miles of rusty pipe. It accurately detected the leaks while also identifying natural pressure fluctuations that commonly occur in plumbing.

It does this by measuring the vibrations and pull of the water flow that occurs along the soft rubbery edges of the device. By helping nations fix quickly and easily identify leaky pipes, we can help preserve access to clean drinking water for generations to come.

Disney Leads in Highly Advanced Robotics

Disney has been ahead of the curve when it comes to robotics since the 1960s when they first placed animatronic attractions in their theme parks. While those older attractions might seem a bit outdated in the modern world, they were once centerpieces of the technological prowess of the family-focused Disney experience. Disney has once again proven that they are an industry leader in the field of robotics with their newest animatronic addition, which is a rendition of a Na’vi shaman from the popular Avatar franchise.

Disney opened Pandora: World of Avatar at the end of May, and it is located in the Animal Kingdom park as part of the main attractions of the location. The entire area is themed after Avatar, and while it has only been accessible by the public for a few weeks, it has already attracted a lot of attention. In particular, the Na’vi River Journey ride offers an experience unlike any other in the world of animatronics. As the ride comes to an end, riders will be greeted with an incredibly lifelike robotic Na’vi shaman that dances and chants with the realism of a living creature. There is no doubt this piece of technology represents one of the most, if not the most, advanced animatronic creations ever conceived.

A look under the artificial blue skin of the robotic figure reveals an exceptionally intricate animatronic skeleton with many, many points of motion and control. To look at the robotic skull in action is to see technology that would have seemed to be nothing more than science fiction even just ten years ago. Disney plans to incorporate more of these animatronic figures into their attractions, and there are even rumors that they are considering fully autonomous figures that could move and act independently of any robotic foundation or direct human control.