UK invests millions in micro-robots able to work in dangerous sites

Devices could be deployed in underground pipe networks, reducing need for roadworks

  • Client

    UK government

  • Services

    To work in underground pipe networks and dangerous sites such as decommissioned nuclear facilities.

  • Technologies


  • Dates



The UK government is putting millions in the advancement of small scale robots intended to work in underground pipe systems and risky destinations, for example, decommissioned atomic offices.

The aspiration is for the robots, created in British colleges, to check the finish of problematic and costly roadworks via completing fixes without the need to uncover the streets.

Airborne and submerged variants could likewise review and keep up hard to-achieve areas, for example, seaward windfarms or oil and gas weight vessels.

Chris Skidmore, the science serve, declared a speculation totalling £26.6m in 15 ventures, including the improvement of robots for underground pipe tasks.

Driven by Prof Kirill Horoshenkov at the University of Sheffield and sponsored by a £7.2m government concede, the synergistic research program will likewise include researchers from Birmingham, Bristol and Leeds colleges.

It is trusted that the 1cm-long gadgets will utilize sensors and route frameworks to discover and retouch breaks in funnels, maintaining a strategic distance from disturbance from roadworks assessed to cost the economy £5bn per year.

The remaining £19.4m will subsidize examination into the utilization of apply autonomy in dangerous situations, including rambles for oil pipeline checking or man-made brainpower ready to build up the requirement for fixes on satellites in circle.

Skidmore stated: "While for the present we can just dream of a world without roadworks upsetting our lives, these pipe-fixing robots proclaim the beginning of innovation that could make that fantasy a reality later on.

"From sending robots in our pipe arrange, so chopping down traffic delays, to utilizing robots in working environments to keep individuals more secure, this new innovation could change the world we live in to improve things. Specialists in our best UK colleges the nation over are all around prepared to build up this creative new innovation."

The new subsidizing originates from the administration's Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and will be conveyed by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Sir Mark Walport, UKRI's CEO, stated: "The ventures reported today show how robots and man-made brainpower will change the manner in which we do mind boggling and perilous undertakings, from keeping up seaward breeze homesteads to decommissioning atomic power offices.

"They additionally represent the main job that the UK's trailblazers are playing in building up these new innovations which will enhance security and lift profitability and effectiveness."