Robots could map the future of St. Petersburg's sewers

Jul 26, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (FOX 13) - Robots may soon take over St. Petersburg's sewer system if the city approves using them to help fix its troubled sewage pipes.

Right now, city workers use roving cameras on closed-circuit televisions to view and inspect the city's aging sewer pipes.


"You'll have two operators on a truck, and you'll have two operators on the hydraulic cleaning truck. That's four people tied up on a section of line," said John Stanton, the wastewater collections supervisor.

St. Petersburg City Council is considering a $600,000 contract with RedZone Robotics, a Pennsylvania company specializing in autonomous robots programmed to capture images of a city's sewer system.

The robots are programmed to follow a route, and the camera records images that are then processed through computer software and ranked on a scale to determine the severity of the pipe repairs.

The robots can pinpoint problems more quickly with 360-degree views, which the current cameras don't have.

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