Pipe inspection robots

The world is connected with millions of kilometers of pipes, there are in your building, in the street, in factories, hospitals, schools and everything in between. All of those connections need to be checked for their correct behavior and one of the best ways to do it is using inspection robots.

What is a Pipe Inspection Robot?

A pipe inspection robot is type of robot made to be able to access the sometimes cramped and small spaces that are the pipes and move through them to inspect that there are not defects or obstructions that might hinder their performance.

The robots might contain a camera to film the inspection to later being checked by their operator or using an inspection software.

Types of pipe inspection robots:

To perform the inspection we can choose from a variety of robot types, to choose the right one we need to take into account the kind of pipe that the robot will be inspecting.

  • Pig type robot: The robot fills completely the diameter of the pipe and is also used to clean scraps that might be adhered tho the walls.

  • Inchworm type robot: Also filling the diameter of the pipe, the robot will mimic the movement of an inchworm to move through the pipe. The movement might be too slow for long pipes.

  • Screw type robot: Same as the previous ones, it also fills the diameter of the pipe. The robot is called this way because of the way it moves in the pipe. Also called helical drive type robot.

  • Wall-press type robot: Is a type of robot that is used mostly to inspect vertical pipes. It uses pressure on the walls of the pipe to maintain it’s position.

  • Wheel type robot: One of the most versatile robots, it works similar to a remote control car and can be controlled to move in different directions, especially if there are forks in it’s path.

  • Crawler type robot: Similar to the wheel type but instead of standard wheels the robot will have caterpillar or track wheel which can get an extra grip to the pipe.

  • Walking type robot: Instead of using wheels the robot will have legs to help him move. This type of robot requires a complex system for it’s movement but might be useful to sort out obstacles that other kind of robots might be unable to pass.

  • Flying type robot: Usually in the form of a quadcopter. The robot will fly through the pipe filming the interior. Really useful for wide vertical pipes.

Using robots for sewer inspections

One of the most important pipes that need to have regular inspections is the sewer system.

Being for the insanitary conditions that we find in the waste system or in some cases the narrowness of the sewer, we might find the perfect opportunity to use them as sewer inspection robot.

Especially the kind of robots that have high mobility and are able to sort out obstacles, given that there are lots of sewers in the world that are centuries old.


By using robots to inspect our pipes we improve the time in which is done, we can automate the process so there is not even the need for human action unless there is a problem and we minimize the risk of accidents by reducing the situations in which a person can be in danger like entering a pipe or a sewer.

The benefits of using pipe inspection robots are numerous and with each technology improvement there are going to keep getting better.


If you want to know more about our SEWDEF system, do not hesitate to contact us.