FCC launches video showcasing ARSI, a pioneering drone inspection project in Barcelona

Posted: Friday 10th November 2017

FCC has published a video highlighting its pioneering project Aerial Robot for Sewer Inspection (ARSI) which it is developing with Eurecat, in a consortium with other companies within the framework of the European Echord++ (European Coordination Hub for Open Robotics Development).

The innovative micro airborne vehicle (drone) equipped with multiple sensors has been designed to speed up, facilitate and improve the inspection of Barcelona's 1,500 km sewerage system. The intelligent robotic solution, that will help reduce human risk in the inspection process, will go into service across the city next year.

FCC's Environment division has more than 100 years' experience in managing, cleaning and maintaining sewerage networks, including Barcelona's which it has been manging since 1911. As the head of FCC Environment's Technical Department in Barcelona, Raul Hernandez, explains in the video, "These networks are difficult spaces to work in because they are relatively small and narrow, although they vary in size. The floors and surfaces are slippery, there's no lighting at all, and sometimes there are even problems with gases."

The drone has been equipped the following features to overcome these issues:

Sensors to monitor air and water quality

3D camera to calculate its position and speed

2D laser to detect walls and calculate flight paths in real time

Infrared sensor to measure its distance from the ground and control its altitude


Headlights to light up a pitch-dark environment

Optimisation of equipment performance to reduce battery consumption and achieve longer autonomy

Raul Hernandez, also explains the many benefits to the technology, "from a health and safety point of view by preventing lipping or posture risks. Another major benefit is the amount of information that can be acquired and consulted objectively for long periods of time. This technology also improves productivity, since it enables us to complete inspection tasks along the entire length of a sewer more quickly, because instead of walking through it, we're flying through it." He adds, "At this time, the project is in the advanced prototype stage and for FCC this technological solution provides safety and comfort in the tasks, as well as very significant improvements in productivity rates and reduced costs."

Read the magazine online

April 2021

About the magazine »
Magazine archive »


Information for advertisers »

Water Aid buttonwood marketing Cranfield University Pulsar Button June 13 British Water Huber Harvey Communications wateractive
Pulsar New Banner