KWR and Wetsus have developed a prototype of an inspection robot for drinking water networks. Within the AIR project, this prototype will be further developed into an operational, fully autonomous robot system.

Effective asset management through frequent robotic inspections

Effective asset management that leads to the optimal performance of drinking water networks requires a clear picture of the condition of the pipes. The technologies currently available for this purpose do not meet all requirements. A system of autonomously operating robots, which stay almost permanently in the pipeline network, can contribute to a better knowledge of the condition of the pipeline network and thus contribute to better decisions about whether or not to rehabilitate pipes or sections of the network. KWR and Wetsus have developed a first prototype for such an autonomous robot within the framework of the BTO project Ariel.

Concept van een autonome robot voorzien van sensoren voor het bepalen van de toestand van de buiswand en het detecteren van lekken.

Concept of an autonomous robot equipped with sensors to determine the condition of the pipe wall and detect leaks.


The prototype is not yet autonomous but is controlled by wire. This first development step has served to identify all relevant aspects and to solve the technical challenges, as a basis for further development towards a fully autonomous robotic system. The realisation of this prototype underpins the feasibility of the concept of autonomous inspection robots in the water supply network.

Follow-up project

In follow-up of the Ariel project, the AIR project has started, which further develops the concept into a practical applicable product.