At the interregional youth educational forum ‘Ladoga’, university students presented a unique invention of the ‘SPbU Dynamics’ – a robotic diagnostic complex designed to detect defects in main pipelines.

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The installation was presented to: Alexander Gutsan, Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Northwestern Federal District; Aleksandr Drozdenko, Governor of the Leningrad Region; as well as the heads of the Novgorod, Pskov, Murmansk and Arkhangelsk Regions. The project presentation was held by Dmitry Grokholsky, a student of St Petersburg University and General Director of the small innovative enterprise ‘SPbU Dynamics’.

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Main pipelines are potentially the most dangerous objects that are intended to function flawlessly. The robot, created by university engineers, makes it possible to detect all existing defects in heating networks. This includes corrosion deposits and defects in welding joints. The diagnostic complex consists of two elements – the central module and the means of mechanical delivery, represented not by caterpillar chains, but by wheels. This design feature enables the robot to, easily and without turning over, pass steep curves, 90-degree turns, and even T-shaped transitions. Other designs, existing at the moment, cannot do the same. The device can work in extreme conditions: in an empty pipe or at temperatures up to 80 ºC.

The sample presented at the forum is designed to work in pipes of from 500 mm to 1000 mm diameter. However, when the design is developed, the robot can operate on heating networks of any size. The working prototype was presented at the Russian Energy Forum, and it attracted the attention of representatives of the oil industry. They sent a request to ’SPbU Dynamics’ to create a robot for diagnosing oil pipelines with a diameter of 300 or 150 mm.

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The robotic diagnostic complex is a unique design that has no analogues in the world. It is currently being tested in the laboratory and is being prepared for mass production. Aleksandr Drozdenko, Governor of the Leningrad Region, emphasised that this is an extremely necessary invention, and the sooner it can be put into practice, the better. According to Nikolay Kropachev, Rector of St Petersburg University, it is quite realistic to do it in the near future.

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The organisers expressed their gratitude to St Petersburg University and its rector Nikolay Kropachev for their assistance in organising the ‘Robotics’ platform for the interregional youth educational forum ‘Ladoga’.

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