An autonomous robot could soon save businesses millions of dollars in the inspection of pipelines. Houston-based itRobotics is developing a robot that can travel tether-free, without operator intervention, for kilometers inside tubing and small-diameter pipes, making inspections cheaper and easier and detecting some flaws that aren’t detectable from the outside. The trainlike prototype, designed for pipes five to six centimeters across, pulls one or more carts loaded with sensors that detect changes in, for example, magnetic flux, which can indicate wall thinning or cracks. The robot’s proprietary locomotion system and onboard computer allow it to decide whether to proceed, slow down, stop, or even reverse. The company plans to introduce its first inspection robot, for the oil and gas industry, this fall. Future versions could inspect plant equipment such as the boilers and heat exchangers found in refineries, chemical plants, and desalinization plants.
Geoffrey Hinton tells us why he’s now scared of the tech he helped build
“I have suddenly switched my views on whether these things are going to be more intelligent than us.”
Meet the people who use Notion to plan their whole lives
The workplace tool’s appeal extends far beyond organizing work projects. Many users find it’s just as useful for managing their free time.
Learning to code isn’t enough
Historically, learn-to-code efforts have provided opportunities for the few, but new efforts are aiming to be inclusive.
Deep learning pioneer Geoffrey Hinton has quit Google
Hinton will be speaking at EmTech Digital on Wednesday.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.