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.