‘Spider Bots’ Japan Sewers to be cleaned and fixed

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Spider-like robots could begin inspecting Japan’s sewer pipes in the not-too-distant future.

Japanese robotics startup Tmsuk announced last month that it has developed the SPD1 robot, made to carry out inspections of Japan’s aging sewage system as the industry grapples with a labor shortage.

Yuji Kawakubo CEO says it has been difficult to inspect and maintain this system because of a labor shortage.

Kawakubo states that many of the pipes in the sewer are reaching the end their 50-year lifespan. However, someone or something must inspect and maintain the system. So, wheeled bots are currently doing the job, but they can’t move across certain surfaces and areas.

At just over seven pounds, SPD1 is lighter than most bots that already do the job. It has a 360-degree camera system and eight legs, which allows it to move easier. The SPD1 prototype is still in development, but the company plans on putting it on the market by spring 2024 for just over $44,000. It would likely include three robots and a controller as well as a screen that allows you to view the videos recorded by the device.

The bot can currently inspect sewer pipes. However, developers hope it will soon be able repair simple pipes.

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