Identify leaks in the pipes using remote-controlled water droplets

Sometimes small things make our life taxing, like finding a leak in a pipe can become labor intensive as well as time consuming at times. The situation might get worst if the pipe runs underwater oozing invisible chemicals or if the leak is small. A novel method is being worked upon using remotely controlled water droplets. Peng Wang, an assistant professor of environmental science and engineering along with his team discovered a smart way to envelope single droplet of water in a nanometer sized sphere. The sphere made up of iron oxide and covered with silicon and a polymer, behaves like liquid marbles.

robotic water droplets

These remotely controlled marbles can be moved around applying magnetic field and can be decomposed by weakening the bond between water and tiny nanoparticles on exposure to   ultraviolet rays or hydrogen ions. Now the most interesting question that must be pondering your mind would be “how does it work?” All you need to do is dye water droplets in nano-spheres and release them in the leaked pipe running underwater. Now direct these water droplets into the pipe with an underwater robot using magnetic field.  As soon as the nanoparticles hit the polluted water, the coating dissolves spreading dye color in the water and thereby identifying the leak.

Via: Discovery

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