National Grid, ever the innovators, have released footage which demonstrates how robot repair teams could revolutionise the way gas mains are repaired. The film, which premiered online, captures the company making history as they use a repair robot (CISBOT) to fix a gas mains leak with a special sealant, under the streets of Camden. This kind of repair work has never taken place in the UK before.

The CISBOT was developed by New York Company ULC Robotics, and is safely controlled by a trained operator from above. Phil Clarke, National Grid Head of Gas Operations in London, has stated:

This is a major leap forward.  In this trial we’ve been able to fix over fifty gas mains joints using just one small hole in the carriageway rather than digging fifty excavations. This means a massive reduction in traffic disruption and CISBOT also means we don’t have to shut off the gas while doing the repair so supplies don’t get interrupted.’

For more details on the CISBOT, and to see it in action, click here.

Alongside the innovative CISBOT, the film also shows how National Grid wants to put Lizard (a sensory device able to assess the condition of gas mains from inside) into practice. These innovations are not only able to better assess and repair gas mains but also minimise disruption and make it safer for people.

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National Grid, 10th March 2014