Clever Robot Can Autonomously Inspect Sewers

ETH Zurich's ANYmal uses sensors and lasers and a camera to investigate subterranean environments.
Jessica Miley

ANYmal is a brave little robot designed to go where no human dares. The sewers of our major cities. This video shows one of the ANYmal's first test days in the sewers of Zurich.

The agile robot is able to traverse sewers using both sight and sound. It first uses lasers and sensors to understand its surrounds then can traverse autonomously collecting environmental data and images from its onboard camera.

ANYmal has special non-slip feet that help it understand the ground environment even when walking through water ANYmal is waterproof and resistant. In this test, the clever robot walked 920 kilometers through the sewers of Zurich completely autonomously.

ANYmal is the result of the ‘Thing’ project at ETH that has received funding from Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation. 

The team behind ANYmal includes researchers from ETH in Zurich, Poznan University of Technology, The University of Birmingham, The University of Pisa, Oxford, QB Robotics and ANY Robotics.

Different aspects of the robot design and development are split between the international team with the final construction happening at ETH. 

One day ANYmal may be able to be used in all sorts of subterranean environments. It could be used to monitor sewerage and other underground system or in search and rescue operations.