Newton Labs Ventral view of an Inspector robot
This view of the underside shows the four independently powered and steerable drive wheel pods.

Inspector robots are designed to fit through the most narrow tank top access hatch, a diameter of 19 in. (48 cm).

Newton Labs Inspector post-deployment

Tank inspection is messy business
An Inspector robot, anodized for chassis protection, is seen here covered with the powdery residue of tank-bottom sludge following an underwater survey of a nuclear plant CST (details here). This robot is fitted with a taller mast and one of several styles of cylindrical brush assemblies, here mounted on the front.

Newton Labs

For more information on the
Inspector robot, contact:

Newton Labs

To view or download a PDF data sheet on the Inspector robot, CLICK HERE.

Inspector: Underwater In-Tank Assessor Robot

Positions NDE probes and maps tanks with 1/8 inch (3 mm) precision

Surveyor robot under water
The Inspector robot is designed to fit through the most narrow tank top access hatch, a diameter of 19 in. (48 cm).

The Inspector is a highly maneuverable robotic platform and system designed to locate and map tank bottom defects with +/- 1/8 inch (3mm) accuracy in water-filled or dry storage units as large as 50 feet (15 m) in diameter. The Inspector system is composed of the robot, an in-tank, hatch-mounted global positioning camera assembly and the operator's console.

The features of the Inspector system include:

  • Five on-board color video cameras
  • Overhead precision navigation system
  • On-board down-looking video capture
  • Highly maneuverable four-wheel steering
  • Four wheel independent drive motor system
  • On-board downward-facing 3D laser scanner
  • Split chassis design provides constant all-wheel contact
  • Virtual view User Interface enables precise manual control
  • Laser range finders on all four side for precise positioning
  • Sediment-clearing rotating brush assembly (several designs)
  • Real-time video imaging: forward / rearward / left side / right side
Newton Labs
Inspector System Specifications
Elements Details
Length: 31 in. (78,7 cm)
Width: 20.38 in. (15.75 in. for tank insertion) (52 cm & 40 cm)
Height (chassis): 14.25 in. (36 cm)
Weight (in air): 245 lbs. (111 kg)
Weight (in water); 100 lbs. (45 kg)
Construction (chassis): Machined from solid billets of 6061-T6 aluminum stock
Video cameras:

5 ea. on-board high-resolution color
1 ea. high-resolution monochrome global positioning camera

Scanning laser power: 35 MW
Scanning laser resolution: 0.01 in. (0,3 mm)
Rangefinder laser power: 7 MW ea.
LED arrays

4 ea.- chassis perimeter - 705 lumens ea.
4 ea - bottom video port - total 2,800 lumens
5 ea. - mast top - 235 lumens ea. (1,175 lumens total)

Voltage input to control unit 100 to 240 VAC 50 to 60 cycles
Underwater temp. range 32° to 122° F (0° to 50° C)
Top speed (all directions) In excess of 6 in. (15,2 cm) per second
Newton Labs
Inspector with LED mast
The mast height keeps the navigation system's LED units above any sediment and turbidity in the bottom of a tank.


As a delivery platform, the Inspector is exceptionally maneuverable; thanks to an independent, steerable drive wheel system and a split, pivoting chassis design.

Wheel pods can rotate 193 and each wheel drive motor is independently variable.

Steering and drive motors are software coordinated, giving a full range of motion:

  • Forward and backward
  • Side-to-side
  • Spin on central axis
  • Diagonal "crabbing"
  • Radius turns

The top speed of the Inspector is in excess of 6 in. (15,2 cm) per second.

The split chassis design allows Inspectors to maintain four wheel ground contact when moving across surfaces of different elevations.

Newton Labs
Read the detailed article about the deployment of an Inspector at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in the February 2015 edition of Power Magazine. CLICK HERE.