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New robotic crawler presents safer option

Water Corporation Senior Engineer ROV Design Daniel Rechichi has developed a new robotic crawler to ensure the safety of entry crews.

In Western Australia, Water Corporation operates and maintains multiple unlined rock tunnels to convey water, with personnel crews required to enter these tunnels for comprehensive asset condition assessments.

An assessment involves various tests and samples or remedial work when needed, resulting in a high safety risk for entry crews.

To mitigate this safety risk, Mr Rechichi developed a robotic crawler that can conduct a complete visual assessment prior to any crews entering the tunnel, including the ability to identify potentials for rock falls and other safety related issues.

Once the robotic crawler conducts its initial assessment and deems the tunnel safe for entry, it then accompanies the crew into the tunnel and stays with them for the duration of the works, providing numerous aids such as lights, cameras, power supply, communications and more.

Suitable for operating in tunnels with a diameter as small as 1.6 m, the robotic crawler has four-wheel independent drive and the ability to traverse through thick mud, small rocks and obstacles.

The system will increase the reliability of water supply, decrease operational costs and eliminate the safety risk for workers.

For more information visit the Water Corporation website.

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