• Technical stuff


    We aim to develop a robot that can enter a gaseous environment, repair joints and provide sensor outputs to report back on the pipe condition. It is important that pipe assessment techniques can feed into the national Replacement Prioritisation Scheme (MRPS), which will enable gas distribution networks to analyse the actual asset life of their large diameter mains better.

    We also plan to develop a separate robotic system which can replace small diameter off-takes from the mains pipe into customers’ homes with polyethylene (PE) pipe. The robot will be able to connect gas supply for new customers remotely, after we replace tier 1 mains.

    Project reference: NICE0001

    The project has four elements, which will be developed as sub-projects.

    • Element one We will develop a robotic platform and launch system to enable deployment of modular repair and inspection devices on tier two and tier three pipes.

    • Element two We will develop a module to install internal mechanical joints and repair Weco seals in live tier two and three pipes.

    • Element three We will develop a module using sensor technology to undertake visual and non-visual inspection in a live gas main, in order to detect corrosion, stress cracking and wall thickness.

    • Element four We will develop a robot capable of remotely reconnecting service lines to inserted pipe without the need to perform an excavation over each service connection.


    The project began in 2014 and will continue for four years. Field trials will take place in inner city locations across GB, in November of 2015 and 2017.