VIDEO: Game of drones for Barcelona sewer inspection

Oct. 25, 2017
FCC is pioneering a drone project to speed up, facilitate and improve the inspection of Barcelona’s 1,500 km sewerage system...

MADRID, Spain – Spanish firm FCC is pioneering a drone project to speed up, facilitate and improve the inspection of Barcelona’s 1,500 km sewerage system.

The Aerial Robot for Sewer Inspection (ARSI) is equipped with multiple sensors to monitor water and air quality, including a 3D camera to calculate its position and a 2D laser to detect walls and calculate flight paths in real time.

Still in the prototype stage, the project is being developed in conjunction with Eurecat, in a consortium with other companies within the framework of the European Echord++ (European Coordination Hub for Open Robotics Development).

FCC believes that using a drone can improve productivity, as it allows for the completion of inspection tasks along the entire length of a sewer more quickly than a person can inpect while walking.

Pepa Sedó, director of the Eurecat Robotics Unit, said: “This is the first time that the profitability of the use of drones in an activity such as the inspection of the sewage system has been analysed…the great flexibility and manoeuvring capability of drones makes them ideal vehicles for subsoil inspection."

Raúl Hernández, head of FCC Environment’s technical department in Barcelona, said: “These networks are difficult spaces to work in because they are relatively small and narrow, although they vary in size. The floors and surfaces are slippery, there’s no lighting at all, and sometimes there are even problems with gases.”

FCC’s Environment division has been maintaining Barcelona’s sewerage networks since 1911.


Read more

Aqualia to operate €3m thermal hydrolysis wastewater project in Burgos, Spain

FCC blames public utility cuts for dip in Aqualia water revenues

About the Author

Tom Freyberg

Tom Freyberg is an experienced environmental journalist, having worked across a variety of business-to-business titles. Since joining Pennwell in 2010, he has been influential in developing international partnerships for the water brand and has overseen digital developments, including 360 degree video case studies. He has interviewed high level figures, including NYSE CEO’s and Environmental Ministers. A known figure in the global water industry, Tom has chaired and spoken at conferences around the world, from Helsinki, to London and Singapore. An English graduate from Exeter University, Tom completed his PMA journalism training in London.