Drones in sewers – whatever next?

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Written by
Nick Miller

Panasonic Regional Sector Manager for Enterprise UK & Ireland

Drones in sewers – whatever next?

Earlier this year we looked at how technology was being used to plug the leaks in European water pipes as we battle against water shortages but recently Scottish Water reported that it was using another innovative technology - drones – to transform the way it surveys the country’s sewers.

With the sewer systems being much larger than water pipes, drones can do a lot of the hard work surveying the thousands of kilometres of underground pipes for damage and blockages that have previously remained unchecked due to their inaccessability.

The technology has many advantages. In the past, lots of people would have been involved in checking these large diameter, deep sewer pipelines. Not only does the technology save on worker resource but it is also a lot safer. Potential dangers with this type of work include exposure to toxic gases and the threat of fast rising water levels.

Looking forward, the team are also developing the use of scanning technology, alongside video footage, to assist in checking for sewer structural defects. It just goes to show that technology – just like Panasonic TOUGHBOOKS – can be useful for utility companies and their mobile workforces both above and underground. Who knows, maybe some of our rugged TOUGHBOOK tablets will be used to control drones in the future, as well as helping teams receive their work orders, locate leaks and maintain our utilities infrastructure.

Take a look at this incredible footage from the BBC showing the drones in action. It looks likes drones will have lots of advantages – not least that they aren’t afraid of coming face-to-face with a rat!

Find out how rugged devices can assist utility companies.

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