Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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Mechatronic system for the maintenance of pipes

gas distributionhostile environment inspectionpipe monitoring inspectionpipeline maintenancePIPES


The inspection, maintenance and interruption of supply in pipes by flexible, adaptable and stress-resistant tools due to confined environments is a known problem for companies that deal with the supply of services such as gas and liquids. This solution is a device with magnetic grip locomotion and a unit for releasing the occluder via remote control.

Technical features

The inspection and maintenance of pipes is difficult due to the inaccessibility of some portions of the supply line, especially when it is necessary to interrupt the line in case of direct inaccessibility to the pipes. Known technologies are able to inspect and monitor, but not to carry out maintenance of the piping and / or interruption of supply. This invention proposes a mechatronic system suitable for remote, teleoperated or autonomous navigation within the pipes. The system is particularly reliable as it is able to respond even to sudden changes in direction, section, or in the presence of rough walls or with strong inclinations. The device is particularly suitable for ferromagnetic conduits as it has a magnetic head wheel moved by a suitable motor and subsequent modules in series, with magnetic traction. The prototype has been tested in an operational environment (TRL 7).

Possible Applications

  • Pipes for methane gas distribution;
  • Inspection and monitoring of pipes;
  • Pipeline maintenance and interruption;
  • Inspection and monitoring of hostile or difficult to reach environments.


  • Shooting system able to remotely occlude the line;
  • Reliability, flexibility, reduced dimensions and weight;
  • Recovery of the device after use;
  • Energy efficiency;
  • High transport load (for occlusion);