American University of Sharjah's robot detects oil and gas spills

oil pipeThe robot aims to detect oil and gas pipes for holes and leaks. (Image source: Ken Toshima/Pixabay)The Engineering College at the American University of Sharjah (AUS) has invented a new device called ‘Pipe Leak Detection Robot,’ to automatically check oil and gas pipes for holes and leaks

Dr Mamoun Abdel-Hafez, professor and head of Mechanical Engineering Department at AUS, explained that the device, which they had been working on for three years, is self-propelled and uses an internal gas or oil powered engine inside the pipe to detect leakage most accurately.

He said that the device employs GPS maps and other self-measuring systems to send signals on the location of the hole and the leak most precisely.

Abdel-Hafez further added that the importance of the device lies in the fact that the very long pipelines commonly cover different topographical areas including deserts, underground, seas and oceans.

The robot has a navigation system specially developed for this purpose. After a hole is detected, the robot uses an innovative algorithm to pinpoint the exact location. The algorithm processes multiple data of different characteristics to locate the hole or the robot at any moment.

The robot also has a communication system that allows the operator to send instructions to the robot wirelessly and follow the robot's operation while testing short pipelines.

Besides Professor Abdel-Hafez, the project was supervised by Dr Mohammad Jaradat, associate professor at Mechanical Engineering Department, Dr Shayok Mukhopadhyay, assistant professor at Mechanical Engineering Department, and others.

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