Researchers Cross Oceans To Create Cutting-Edge Leak Detection Robot


Two prestigious universities have come together to tackle water loss. King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Saudi Arabia and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), created an innovative in-pipe leak detection robot, which uses pressure gradients to identify leaks. The detector — which operates autonomously — can sense leaks at any angle around the circumference of the pipe.

In this podcast, Rached Ben-Mansour, a professor of Mechanical Engineering at KFUPM, shares with Water Online Radio why this technology is so important.

“In Saudi Arabia most of the water we use is desalinated, so it costs us a lot of money. There is 22 to 30 percent loss of it, so we lose about 1 to 2 billion,” explains Ben-Mansour in the interview.

Most current leak detection systems are based on acoustics, and often miss leaks, says Ben-Mansour. The technology MIT and KFUPM are working on is based on a new method, which they have patented.

“Whenever you have a leak, you will have a large pressure gradient very close to the leak,” he says. “We use a pressure sucking technique and we designed around it a mechanical integrator that allows us to use only a couple of sensors to sense the leak anywhere around the pipe.”

To learn more about this cutting-edge technology click below for the full interview with Ben-Mansour.

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