Inuktun and Academic Community Look to Advance Sewer Robotics

Kamloops BC - Inuktun Services Ltd. and the University of British Columbia robotics department are working together to improve a robots ability identify defects in water mains and sewer pipes.

''It is estimated that Canada will need to spend $12 billion in the next 15 years to upgrade water main systems,' says UBC robotics professor Homayoun Najjaran , who works at UBC's Okanagan campus. "Only about 0.5 per cent of those systems are replaced annually, which means the life expectancy of a piping system is 200 years. With limited repair and renewal resources, you can see why it is important for municipalities to know what pipes are priority upgrades." Najjarians research will help municipal engineers determine how and where money should be invested in repair and renewal of piping infrastructure. Remote pipe inspection systems could save municipalities millions of dollars by helping them determine which infrastructure systems are in the most critical condition, and which are highest priority for costly upgrades.

Collaboration is a key factor in Najjaran's work, working with numerous industry leaders such as Inuktun. His team consists of eight graduate students and four to six undergrads.

"The pipe inspection robot is one example of a number of automation projects and partnerships currently underway," he says.

For more information on Dr. Najjaran and this project see the UBC PR website here