Smart multi-sensored modular autonomous pipeline monitoring

This activity concerns the development of a low cost smart multi-sensored shuttle for oil pipeline inspection and control (PIG). The system is the new version of a first release successfully developed, deployed and patented by ENI, with Politecnico researcher as coauthors.

The new PIG is equipped will be equipped with gyroscope and accelerometer in addition to several strains-gauge mounted on metallic touching fingers on the PIG head or tail for the continuous monitoring of the pipe diameter to detect pipe inner surface variations indicating possible problems that could compromise the pipe functions and represent an environment danger.

The smart PIG is designed for ultra-low energy consumption for long life batteries life to ensure mission of several hours. The PIG connectivity for system handling and data mission download is through fast WIFI connection while also the battery recharge is through wireless power transfer.

The final result is a system without any wired connection and therefore suitable to operate in dangerous environment, as oil pipeline, where the presence of flammable and corrosive elements compel to avoid use of wire and of not properly shielded contacts.

The electronic system will be compatible with sensor fingers of different length for the monitoring of different diameter pipelines, moreover it is conceived to be modularly and easily enhanced with the insertion of sensor with new features.

ERC Sector:

  • PE7_11 Components and systems for applications
  • PE7_12 Electrical energy production, distribution, application


  • Petroleum industry
  • Pipelines
  • Pig pipeline monitoring
  • Sensor integration

Research groups