The Scottish Water utility is pioneering the use of drones to inspect Scotland's sewers. The high-tech drones are fitted with cameras and laser technology called light detection and ranging (LiDAR), which scans sewers for issues like cracks, holes, partial collapses, infiltration, and root ingress. Utility officials said flying a drone through the pipes replaces 15 workers, facing dangerous conditions in the confined spaces and the risk of hazardous gases.
Class discussion: How are unmanned aerial vehicles and remotely controlled robots tackling other dangerous jobs? There are many high-risk jobs, such as mining, fishing, harvesting lumber or firefighting. How might remotely controlled equipment make those professions safer? What new dangers could such devices create? If workers become dependent such equipment, what could happen if power or communication grids fail or are hacked?