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UK: Robots to fix underground pipes and help cut roadworks

Staff Writer |
New micro robots will be built to repair the UK’s huge underground pipe network, significantly cutting the disruption caused by the 1.5 million road excavations that take place every year.

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Scientists from 4 British universities will use £26.6 million government investment to develop 1 cm-long robotic devices that use sensors and navigation systems to find and mend cracks in pipes.

The traffic closures and disruption to businesses of these roadworks is estimated to amount to more than £5 billion.

A further 14 projects backed by the government will see robots sent to hazardous work places such as offshore wind-farms and nuclear decommissioning facilities.

Researchers will test new technologies to detect when repairs are needed, and drones for oil pipeline monitoring.

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