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.