Our clients use Eddyfi Technologies robots in all kinds of hazardous or confined spaces from nuclear reactors to pipelines to offshore platforms. In other cases, it inspects culverts that aren't always overly confining nor hazardous, just... icky. This article highlights our robotic solutions for culvert inspection and a use case courtesy of Greenman-Pedersen Inc.

VersaTrax Robotic Crawler for Culvert Inspection

While unpleasant, this particular culvert still required an inspection with laser measurement of any corrosion detected (and we didn’t have an intern handy), so we deployed the VersaTrax™ robotic crawler into the slop. Submerged (up to 60 meters or 200 feet) or on land, the VersaTrax is able to operate in pipe diameters as small as 205 millimeters, or 8 inches, depending on model. Ideal for inspecting sewer and storm drains, hydroelectric infrastructure, steam headers, oil and gas refineries and pipelines, and pulp and paper mills among other applications, the VT205 can venture up to 300 meters, or 1,000 feet, while travelling 9 meters/30 feet per minute.

With low maintenance, an optional high definition colour camera for outstanding image clarity, intuitive controls, and clutched track for easy retrieval, the VersaTrax is enthusiastically ready to go whenever you are, even into an environment that is less than appealing.

Another culvert inspection case comes from Greenman-Pedersen Inc. (GPI) who needed to inspect culverts too small for personnel to safely access. There are a lot of risk factors associated with culvert inspection including locations below fill embankments, confined spaces, situations where rapid or unexpected increases in flow may occur, and uncertain structural integrity. Eddyfi Technologies robots have been designed specifically to see far in advance to reduce risk and eliminate the need for Confined Space Entry (CSE), operating in even the most extremely hazardous environments, just like in this example.

GPI’s Underwater Inspection Team deployed their VersaTrax pipe inspection vehicle for the successful underwater remote visual inspection (RVI) of a number of small culverts. End treatment, slope protection, undermining, clogging, traffic surface treatment and condition, fill embankment fitness, and durability of culvert material and coating are all considered during culvert inspections. Operators paired with a robust inspection robot like the VersaTrax system can easily assess:

  • abrasion,
  • coating loss,
  • corrosion,
  • cracks,
  • joints,
  • seams,
  • shape changes and deflection,
  • perforations,
  • and undermining.

According to GPI’s Michael Nitchman and David Cornish, “Greenman-Pedersen Inc. has been commissioned by numerous clients to provide underwater structural inspections of bridges, canal structures, waterfront structures and water handling structures including culverts. In order to most effectively perform inspections of these structures, GPI has employed a variety of methods and techniques including the use of inspection divers, sonar and acoustic imaging, and remotely operated vehicles of various types. On numerous occasions GPI has utilized the Inuktun VersaTrax crawler system to inspect interior surfaces of low clearance and/or smaller sized culverts which lack sufficient headroom for a diver-inspector to safely enter and perform inspection duties. In some cases, vertical clearance was limited to less than one foot. The VersaTrax system works well for this type of application. It provides clear inspection video, has good mobility in the confined space over uneven terrain, and is very durable and stable in high flow environments.

We love hearing about a job well done by our satisfied customers! If you’re interested in being featured on Eddyfi Technologies blog, let us know! And contact our team of experts to learn how to take your next inspection Beyond Current.