ACWA Robotics is a promising company that our team met during CES. They make an autonomous robot that crawls into city water pipes to inspect and report on the status of local infrastructure. It could save communities worldwide millions by pinpointing exactly which sections of water mains need to be changed.
The French company has started using its robot, which can move independently in a complex maze of water pipes, many of which are decades old. The robot is designed to move autonomously and navigate tricky turns. It’s programmed to stop and reverse if it senses it’s stuck. There is no need for the water company to shut off the pipe being inspected as it will not block more than 50% of the flow.
ACWA’s robot brings a lot to the table. First, it can help to map the water supply network, which many municipalities no longer have plans for. Second, it allows operators to measure the current condition of the pipes by taking high-resolution photos and measuring the thickness of pipes that may be degrading.
With such capabilities, ACWA can tell municipalities exactly where they need to upgrade their network. All water lines will eventually need to be replaced, but without that kind of pinpoint visibility and accuracy, there’s a tremendous amount of waste. The robot’s work costs a tiny fraction of a repair.
We are excited about ACWA because their product has the potential to make a global impact. Water infrastructure affects everyone on the planet; Provided the pipes are big enough, this robot can help.
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