Ever thought a rubbery kind of robot could partially solve the world’s most common problem that is water loss? Well, a 28-year-old You Wu, an MIT graduate thought he could do something about the problem.
“I grew up thinking we were good citizens conserving energy and water for the greater good,” says engineer You Wu, reflecting on his childhood in China, where the government often imposed mandatory water cut-offs. “When I learned that every day, 20% of clean water in the world is lost due to leaks while we were making a sacrifice to conserve water, I thought this was wrong and I needed to change it.”
A graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, You Wu has developed a robot that is capable of identifying leaks. It has the ability to move inside the pipe while its ‘hands’ touch the pipe and feel the suction forces caused by the leaks.
In United States alone there are around 2,40,000 water main breaks annually which accounts to more than 2 trillion gallons of water getting wasted.
For You Wu, it took 5 good years to build a working prototype. Lighthouse being the current version, was launched shortly after You Wu was named to the 2018 edition of “Forbes 30 under 30’
What makes Lighthouse unique?
So far, the detection systems that were in use rely on listening to sounds caused by pipe vibrations and pressure reduction having its own share of disadvantages as it fails to serve the purpose in cities due to heavy noise pollution. But, Lighthouse, is designed in such a way that, it works best for both rural and urban areas.
Until now, these robots have been tested in Virginia, United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia. Few more have been deployed for testing purpose across United States. The goal is to provide these robotic tools to technicians across the world so that water loss can be reduced at a higher level.
Content Source: Business Insider