Giant Robot Worm Lurks Under NYC Streets
The Welding and Inspection Steam Operations Robot (WISOR) was developed for Con Edison of New York by Honeybee Robotics as a semi-automated means of maintaining subterranean steam pipes. While tethered to the surface for power and fiber optic visuals, WISOR uses an inch-worming motion for mobility through straight pipes where it mills and welds flanges. It is equipped with five cameras for inspecting damage and repairs, a milling device, and a MIG class welder that can rotate a full 360 degrees.
It will enter a steam pipe, inch-worm its way to a flange, mill in preparation for resealing, and then perform a structural weld to seal the flange.
The 800 lb. WISOR is a semi-autonomous system with a 200-foot umbilical cable that connects it to a control center in its truck, which allows engineers to see where WISOR is going and what it mills and welds. WISOR is currently undergoing testing and debugging with an anticipated delivery to Con Edison in late 2006.
Gothamist: WISOR for Official New York State Robot!
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