Robotics & Automation News

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mit pipe-checking robot

MIT reveals robot to inspect pipes, while Stanford shows ‘vine-like growing robot’

Universities are doing a lot of interesting work in the area of robotics, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford are two of the most active in the field. 

Both universities showed similar robots this week, MIT’s being a bottle-shaped device which checks pipes and Stanford’s one a machine which is said to grow like a vine.

According to, MIT’s PipeGuard team recently won $10,000 in the university’s competition and swims through pipes to detect any problems.

The YouTube video for the device (above) describes as a “leak detection robot for city water distribution systems”.

Stanford, which also made a video (below) of its strange plant- or worm-like organic robot, if it can be called that, said its invention “could be useful in search and rescue and medical applications”.

Commercial customers for the robots are probably already lined up and perhaps the two teams could spin out into startup companies.