Robotics-as-a-Service & Technology Deployment

CISBOT: 29,000 Joints and Counting

ULC Robotics

Since commercial work with large diameter CISBOT began in 2010, our team has remediated more than 29,000 joints – equivalating to over 65 miles of cast iron mains (16”+). ULC Robotics’ operations have scaled up considerably over the past few years and we now have a fleet of 15 robots working daily in New York, Boston, St. Louis, London and other areas of the US and UK.

By the end of 2020, ULC Robotics expects to have sealed an additional 40 miles of cast iron gas mains and we are building five additional robots to support increased demand in this technology.

CISBOT enables our customers to dramatically reduce the costs and timelines associated with upgrading or modernizing pipelines, while minimizing impact on customers and communities. Substantial financial benefits and reduced social and environmental disruption has allowed our utility customers to capitalize on CISBOT and make this technology part of approved rate cases.

We are continuing our dedication to environmentally responsible practices with the introduction of solar-powered operation stations. Currently deployed with Cadent Gas in the UK, these new stations enable the further reduction of carbon emissions and help our customer reach its net-zero environmental targets.

For more information on CISBOT and to learn how to ULC Robotics can help strengthen and remediate your natural gas network, please visit: https://ulcrobotics.com/services/cisbot-robotic-cast-iron-joint-sealing/.

ULC Robotics Supports UK Decarbonization Goals with Advanced, Eco-Friendly Operation Stations

ULC Robotics

ULC Robotics, a leading Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) solutions provider, is expanding its ability to sustainably and safely deliver leading-edge technology to the energy industry.

“ULC Robotics are exploring the use of innovative solutions to improve our daily operations and make any adjustments necessary to support the country’s recent decarbonization goals,” said Graeme Cleeton, VP of UK Operations.

In collaboration with Boss Cabins and TAG Systems, ULC Robotics has created a new control center cabin for its UK CISBOT operations. CISBOT, short for Cast Iron Joint Sealing Robot, works within live gas mains to seal aging or leaking joints, extending their lifetime by fifty years. The robot is powered by a generator and is typically operated during a 12-hour window by a crew from within a box truck.

Working closely with Boss Cabins, market leader in welfare cabin design and manufacturing, ULC Robotics outlined a variety of safety and environmental concerns to help produce a distinctive, one-of-a-kind cabin to meet their unique needs.

“These container units will help us maintain our practice of providing environmentally sound, minimally disruptive services to our clients,” said Cleeton.

The newly built 20-foot mobile units have been furnished with solar panels, which are used to charge lithium-ion batteries during daylight hours. The batteries are then able to power the unit at night, enabling 24-hour operations. In the event that there is not enough light to charge the batteries adequately, the unit is equipped with an efficient, silent-run generator to provide back-up power. The eco-friendly dual-power solution mitigates any noise pollution and minimizes project emissions.

“We are delighted to have collaborated with ULC on this unique new cabin and helped to find solutions to the operational, safety and environmental issues raised,” said Tim Allan, Director at Boss Cabins. “The purpose-specific design will, we hope, enable ULC to work more effectively over longer periods with less disruption and minimal environmental impact.”

Each cabin is outfitted with a state-of-the-art security system, custom designed by Tag Systems, Europe’s leading manufacturer of wireless security equipment. The system includes high definition CCTV cameras, motion detectors, and an alarm linked to a security response team.

The first two units were delivered in January 2020 and installed in Sloane Square, London, at job sites for UK gas distribution network Cadent. The units have received praise from local government and have enabled ULC Robotics to celebrate their first carbon-neutral day on January 31st.

CISBOT Travels Manchester Underground to Remediate Cadent Gas Network

ULC Robotics

Continuing their dedication to reliably delivering gas to 11 million homes and businesses, Cadent has expanded their robotic remediation work to the greater Manchester area.

Using CISBOT, ULC Robotics’ cast iron joint sealing robot, Cadent is working on a 263 meter section of 16” live gas main running beneath the Langley Road area in Salford. Originally selected due to a history of gas leaks, CISBOT is also being used to seal non-leaking joints within the main, negating the need for repeat work on this same pipe.

This is fantastic technology—a fast, efficient and non-disruptive way for us to check and seal joints at risk of failing as they age,” said Adam Hassall, Network Engineer at Cadent. “It’s essential work, reducing the risks of gas escapes and extending the life of gas mains relied on by hundreds of thousands of people for warmth.”

Over the course of one week, the robot will work quietly below ground to seal 50 joints and extend the life of the pipeline by an additional 50 years.

“Undoubtedly, the residents here are probably thinking, what are we doing?” said Graeme Cleeton, VP of UK Operations at ULC Robotics. “Because we are not impacting on them, we are not disturbing their gas supply and we are not digging excavations outside their property.”

Cadent has deployed a second CISBOT robot at Featherstall Road North in Oldham to operate within 299 meters of 18” pipe and seal 109 joints. Cadent has also identified an additional 4 kilometers of main in central Manchester for work in 2020.

To read the full story, visit Manchester Evening News.

ULC Robotics Finalist for Utility Week Partner of the Year

ULC Robotics

ULC Robotics was recognized for their work with Cadent and SGN, using CISBOT to remediate critical portions of their cast iron natural gas mains. The work took place in high-profile locations across the UK, including George Street in Edinburgh and Oxford Street in London.

The Utility Week Awards reward and celebrate outstanding performance and innovation across utilities. The winners of the Utility Week Awards will be announced on December 9th during a ceremony held at the Grosvenor House in London. For more information or to view the entire shortlist please visit the awards website.

ULC Robotics & SGN Celebrate Six Years with CISBOT

ULC Robotics

Since 2013, ULC Robotics has partnered with UK gas network SGN on a variety of projects designed to drive innovation and solve daily operational challenges through ground-breaking technologies.

Our partnership had led to the commercialization of our CISBOT technology in the UK, where robotic repairs for gas mains remediation is now business as usual. Using CISBOT, SGN has been able to successfully upgrade 44 kilometers of live natural gas mains, sealing more than 12,000 joints beneath some of Britain’s most iconic, highly-trafficked roads including George Street, Edinburgh and critical portions of their southern network.

Using CISBOT technology over the past six years has really revolutionized roadworks. Robotic technology reduces the need for multiple excavations and trenches, reduces disruption on the roads and saves time and money, which is excellent news for motorists, our customers, and the local community.” -John Richardson, Head of Innovation, SGN

Read the full press release here.

New York Technology Developer Names New President as Company Continues to Grow

ULC Robotics

Robert Kodadek Named President of ULC Robotics

ULC Robotics, a rapidly expanding Long Island-based technology firm serving the utility and energy markets, announced today that Robert Kodadek has been promoted to President of the company.

“There is extraordinary momentum underway within ULC Robotics and the industries that we serve,” said Kodadek. “I am incredibly proud of what we have already achieved, and excited to help lead the company to its next phase of innovation and growth.”

Prior to this appointment, Kodadek had served as Chief Technology Officer and was responsible for leading the company’s innovation and research and development efforts. In that role he oversaw a team of 40 employees comprised of mechanical and electrical engineers, sensor scientists, software and firmware developers, and project managers who design and develop robotic technologies to help utility and energy companies operate more efficiently.

Kodadek joined ULC Robotics in 2009 from Verified Identity Pass, where he acted as the Senior Director of Field Services & Engineering, managing the deployment of the company’s biometric enrollment and verification technology. Before Verified Identity Pass, he held several roles at Raytheon, an international defense and cybersecurity contractor.

“Rob has been instrumental to our success and rapid growth over the years,” said Gregory Penza, Founder and CEO of ULC Robotics. “He is uniquely qualified to lead our continued growth, expand into new markets, and further drive innovation to elevate the success of the company.”

ULC Robotics and Cadent Win UKSTT Energy & Communications Renovation Award

ULC Robotics

The United Kingdom Society of Trenchless Technology (UKSTT) recognized the achievements of ULC Robotics and Cadent at this year’s UKSTT Awards. The UKSTT Awards is a prestigious event that recognizes those working to advance innovation in trenchless technology.

The two companies received the Energy & Communication Renovation award for their natural gas mains rehabilitation work in the West End of London. ULC Robotics and Cadent had used CISBOT to remediate 1.3km of aging cast iron mains beneath Oxford Street, a high-profile location trafficked by 4 million people weekly. With just 12 excavations made, CISBOT renewed 357 joints under live conditions and extended the life of the critical pipeline which delivers gas to businesses and residents along the busy city street.

To read more about the project, click here.

ULC Robotics Highlights Benefits of AI in Offshore Wind Operations

ULC Robotics

Last week the Business Network for Offshore Wind hosted Big Data, AI, and Blockchain Event hosted by Business Network for Offshore Wind to highlight the benefits of digital innovation within the offshore wind industry.

Dr. Ali Asmari, Program Manager at ULC Robotics, was invited to speak on the topic of driving innovative technologies and processes to reduce O&M costs. Dr. Asmari delivered an in-depth explanation of how data influences decision-making and increases efficiencies, as well as the potential for unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to affordably capture, process, and report useful findings. Post-capture via UAS, he explained, the industry can enhance their data through the use of AI and Machine Learning for improved productivity, safer operations, and reduced environmental impact.

ULC Robotics Makes UKSTT Awards Shortlist for Mains Remediation on Oxford Street

ULC Robotics

ULC Robotics, leading Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) solutions provider and developer for the energy industry, has been shortlisted for the UKSTT Awards in the Renovation – Energy & Communication Sector category. The UKSTT Awards is a prestigious event that recognizes those working to advance innovation in trenchless technology.

ULC Robotics was shortlisted for their work with Cadent, using CISBOT to remediate 1.3km of aging cast iron mains in the West End of London on Oxford Street, a high-profile location trafficked by 4 million people weekly. With just 12 excavations made, CISBOT renewed 357 joints under live conditions and extended the life of the critical pipeline which delivers gas to businesses and residents along the busy city street.

The winners of the UKSTT Awards will be announced on September 17th during a ceremony held at the De Vere Tortworth Court Hotel in Bristol. For more information or to see the entire shortlist visit the awards website.

Cadent: Students Learn With Robots in London

ULC Robotics

In partnership with ULC Robotics, Cadent is working to give engineering students hands-on experience maintaining and repairing the network’s critical gas pipeline across London. Through an apprenticeship program with Middlesbrough College, the two companies are appealing to new talent with their use of robotic technology— namely CISBOT, which works within live gas mains to seal aging or leak-prone joints.

At Cadent we’re keen to support initiatives to encourage the next generation of engineers and the importance of this particular work placement scheme should not be underestimated. Together with ULC Robotics, Cadent is giving young engineering students first-hand experience of working robots, a technology that’s likely to play an ever-increasing role in engineering projects. -James Harrison, Director of Cadent’s London Network

Launched in June 2019, the multi-partner program is helping to attract a variety of talent, ultimately keeping the energy industry at the forefront of innovation and ensuring a diverse talent pool. Read the full press release here.

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