Carnegie Mellon University
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Pipeline Explorer
This project is no longer active.
Contact: Thomas Gordon
Mailing address:
National Robotics Engineering Center
10 40th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
Associated center(s) / consortia:
 National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC)
Project Homepage
This page last updated - January 2011.
NREC designed, built and deployed Pipeline Explorer, the first untethered, remotely-controlled robot for inspecting live underground natural gas distribution pipelines.

Explorer represents the state of the art in remote-controlled inspection systems for low-pressure and high-pressure natural gas pipelines. The battery-powered Explorer can perform long-range, extended duration visual inspections of cast-iron and steel gas mains. Unlike older, tethered systems, Explorer can inspect thousands of feet of pipeline from a single excavation point. An operator controls Explorer through a wireless link and can monitor pipeline images in real time.

Explorer won an R&D Magazine Top 100 award in 2006 for being one of the year’s most original and innovative technological developments.