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Engineer brothers (Rohit and Rahul Kashyap) design robot to check for underground leakages

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The Times of India | Bella Jaisinghani | TNN |  Sep 26, 2016 |

MUMBAI: Since four months, a pair of engineer brothers from Santacruz have been visiting the local market to buy water pipes used in housing societies. They return home to place them upon their workstation and fit them with sensors and pieces of robot.  Frequent news of pipeline bursts in Pedder Road and Thane prompted this obsession. Rohit and Rahul Kashyap have successfully designed a tiny robot barely few inches tall that can travel inside a pipeline and check for leaks and cracks with the help of sensors.  This little wonder with a mouthful of a name, SAPER (Semi-Autonomous Pipeline Exploration Robot), takes photographs of the innards of the pipeline and relays them to its controller. Rohit Kashyap is a third year student of electronics engineering from Vivekanand Education Society’s Institute of Technology (VESIT). He said, “Most pipelines that carry water, oil or gas are located underground where they come under earth pressure apart from traffic on the road surface above. With time and age the metal degrades and corrodes, causing leakage that is both expensive and dangerous. Once a pipeline is damaged, excavating the ground is the only way to repair it.”

Rahul is a student of Somaiya College. “Our device can be manufactured for Rs 12,000-15,000 and has the potential to prevent leakage of water, oil and gas from underground pipes once it is fine-tuned,” he said. The brothers Kashyap said that the BMC currently uses rudimentary techniques to inspect pipes. “It has sounding mukadams who tap a stick on the ground and try to detect faults by sound. Such checks are possible barely once a year owing to lack of manpower,” claimed Rohit. However, the BMC’s hydraulic engineer Ashok Tawadia says three separate mechanisms are available to check for non-visible underground leakages. “Apart from our sounding mukadams who are skilled at their job, we have CCTV cameras which are released inside pipes to check for leaks. The newest technology involves releasing helium, which is an inert gas, inside the pipeline and using a rod on the road surface to detect if it emanates from a leakage.” –  Courtesy

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