Robotic Crawler Video Inspection Technology

We use robotic crawler video inspection technology to perform video inspections of large municipal and commercial sewer mains and service lines. By making use of two different sized video crawlers and a sonde, we are able to inspect pipes to look for areas of concern, mark out problem areas in the field with paint and/or flags, and document the findings on a video recording and in a written report.
 

Robotic Crawler Video Inspection System

The P350 flexitrax, which is manufactured by SPX Corp. of Raymond, ME, is comprised of a computer; a compact self-contained powered drum with up to 1000 feet of cable; and two different sized robotic crawlers with a video camera, sonde, and light at their heads. This system is used to inspect pipes that are too large and deep to be inspected by the Push Rod Video Inspection System.

p350 flexitrax Video Inspection System


Two Different Sized Robotic Crawlers & Video Cameras

The P350 flexitrax system makes use of two different sized robotic crawlers and video cameras, which together enable us to inspect pipes and empty conduits of 4 inches or more in diameter up to a distance of 1,000 feet.

P354 Robotic Crawler

p354 flexitrax Small Robotic Crawler
  • Dimensions: 9.8" x 3.2" x 2.7"
  • Weight: 12 lbs
  • Uses a P350 Forward-View Camera
  • Inspects pipes and conduits 4-12 inches in diameter

P356 Robotic Crawler
  • Dimensions: 13.6" x 5" x 3.3"
  • Weight: 31.5 lbs
  • Uses a P350 Pan & Tilt & Zoom Camera
  • Inspects pipes and conduits 6 inches or more in diameter

Deploying the Robotic Crawler into the Line in Question

The robotic crawler is deployed into the line through a vault or a catch basin by dropping it in from an extension pole.

P350 flexitrax Video Inspection Robotic Crawler Deployment


Propelling & Maneuvering the Robotic Crawler Through the Line

The P350 pendant controller is used to propel the robotic crawler through the line in question, and it enables us to pan and tilt the camera around to look around for and zoom in on any problem areas.

p350 flexitrax Controller


Conducting a Video Inspection Survey

The video recording begins at a distance 0 feet, the start of the pipe run, and the robotic crawler is propelled along the entire section of pipe in question or until it meets resistance or loses traction. While moving the crawler forward, the computer screen is watched for any areas of concern. Comments are typed onto the screen to document any problem areas and record their distance from the starting point, 0 feet, along with taking still images of them for incorporation into a report (if one is requested).

Video Pipe Inspection of a Storm Sewer Line With an Offset Pipe Joint



Locating a Problem Area in the Field

Attached to the robotic crawler is a sonde, which can be located at the surface with a cable and pipe locator receiver. The sonde is turned on and pushed to the location of the problem area. At the surface, the sonde's location and depth is detected with a handheld receiver and documented in the field by marking the ground with paint and/or flags, showing exactly where excavation needs to be performed to expose the pipe for repair.

Locating a Problem Area with the p350 flexitrax


Documenting the Results of a Video Inspection Survey

After the video inspection survey has been completed, the video files can be written onto a CD or flash drive and delivered to the client right in the field. Or when back at the office, they can be uploaded to a Google Drive public folder, where the client can download them from a link sent via email. In addition, if requested, still images of any problem areas can be incorporated into a written report documenting and discussing the results of the survey and, if necessary, making recommendations on how to repair them.



Advantages of Robotic Crawler Video Inspection Technology

  • Can pan and tilt the camera and zoom in on problem areas.
  • Effective on large diameter lines that run a long distance (up to 1000 feet).
  • Propels beyond sections where the push rod stops because of excessive friction.
  • Can be used without shutting down sewer service.

Limitations of Robotic Crawler Video Inspection Technology

  • Must have access to a vault or catch basin.
  • Data cannot be gathered if the pipe is filled with water and the camera is submerged.
  • Cannot be driven up really steep inclines--especially on slick surfaces.