Robots helping maintain the wastewater system

Inspecting large sewers (wastewater pipes) is more than just an uncomfortable task. Despite stringent safety requirements, entering sewers is one of the most dangerous tasks in Sydney Water.

But, it's also essential. We need to inspect the pipes to provide enough information to budget and prioritise repairs and maintenance.

This helps us prevent wastewater leaks, blockages and overflows.

Working with partners to keep our employees safe 

We’ve been working with IP Pipes, looking for a safer, technology-based solution to inspect these large sewer (wastewater) pipes without sending our teams underground. And now we’ve found a way to check the state of the pipes without entering them. The answer is - the RACER.

RACER - the result of technology crossover 

The RACER (Rapid Assessment Condition Evaluation Robot) is the result of recent developments in photogrammetry and sonar technology.  It enables us to gather enough information for detailed engineering assessments, without having our employees tramp through the underground network. 

RACER collects images and sonar data with a special free-floating camera. These are then converted into 360 degree vision and 2D view with sonar data. 

This allows the operator to view the pipes as if they were inside it themselves, without having to get wet or be at risk.

RACER robot

Preparing to launch RACER into the North Georges River Submain