Japanese robotics company TMSUK says there is currently a shortage of sewer inspection workers in Japan.
So it has set out to develop a robot spider for sewage pipe inspection to ease the workload of existing workers.
The robot spider “SPD1” is a multi-legged walking robot with a size of 21 x 25 x 28 cm and a weight of about 3.5 kg, which is used to traverse narrow pipes that humans cannot explore.
The operator uses a game-like controller with a cable in the middle to power and control the spider-bot from a distance.
Operators can view live video from the SPD1’s on-board camera, which can be used with a Raspberry Pi Camera Module 2 or the XDV360’s 360-degree camera.
The advantage of the latter is that the user does not need to physically operate the camera, but only needs to perform virtual pans and tilts on their own touch screen.
As for the robot spider’s “spider eyes,” they’re actually LED spotlights and sensors to assess its surroundings.
While SPD1 can be used individually for inspections, TMSUK wants to tether the three robots together to work as a team.
A lead robot will navigate the pipeline, a second robot will identify areas that need repairs, and a third robot will make repairs with a robotic arm holding a tool.