Boston, MA, US


You Wu, Tyler Mantel

WatchTower Robotics

WatchTower Robotics Co. aims at helping public and private water pipeline operators around the world save water and protect infrastructure. Specifically, WatchTower Robotics Co. develops robots, automated tools, and data analytics that will empower pipeline operators to map their pipes, detect leaks actively and early, assess pipe conditions, and make informed maintenance decisions.Every day, about 20% of the clean water produced in the world is lost due to pipe leaks. Due to limitations in available technologies, most of the leaks are either not found, or found too late.

The strategy is to build a robot that is like a squid or gecko; it leaves behind a piece at every leak it find in an underground water pipe. This piece has a beacon effect that allows maintenance crews to locate it with wireless scanners from above ground, pinpoint the location of the leaks, and know where to dig and fix them.