Engineers in the UK have created tiny robots to check the pipe network, look for problems, and stop leaks. Pipebots are small robots with cameras for eyes and all-terrain legs. They are being developed in cooperation with the water industry to check pipes for weak spots and cracks before they turn into leaks. They move along the pipe while taking pictures and listening to it with a microphone. They can determine whether a pipe will have issues or not. But Professor Netta Cohen, an expert in artificial intelligence at the University of Leeds, says that communication is the pipebots’ biggest challenge. She is creating a system with her teammates in which a larger “mother” robot transports a group of smaller robots. In the UK, there are millions of homes served by thousands of kilometers of pipe, making leaks a common and challenging issue. According to Ofwat, 20% of customers in England and Wales are having problems paying their water bills as a result of the present economic crisis.