Advanced EXPLORER iLi Robotics Technology Makes Every Pipeline Accessible

Self-propelled, remotely-controlled, and fully-articulated, EXPLORER iLi goes where most cannot. With a minimal footprint, the ability to operate in active pipelines, and by collecting multipoint data in one pass, EXPLORER iLi is the standard against which all others should be compared.

Our fleet of EXPLORER iLi advanced robots are at the heart of the value we bring our customers. Fully-articulated and tetherless, EXPLORER iLi  provides comprehensive data that is comparable if not superior to more conventional methods, enabling visual and non-destructive inspection with multipoint data collection of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines regardless of the difficulty of the location or complexity of the pipeline.

Nine Years of Comprehensive Experience
Shortest inspection: 60′
Highest vertical drop: 30′
Lowest pipeline pressure: 0 PSI
400+ Successful Inspections
Longest project: 8.5 miles
Longest river crossing: 1,200′
Highest pipeline pressure: 750 PSI

How It Works

Throughout the inspection process, live video images of the pipeline and integrity data are streamed to both the Pipetel and pipeline operators. These functions are performed without the need of a tether and without any interruption to local natural gas services.

Pipetel’s Inline-Charging Technology for Unpiggable Pipeline Inspection

This video explains Pipetel’s proprietary inline charging technology that extends the range of our EXPLORER iLi robotic inline inspection services for unpiggable natural gas pipelines.

When Should You Think About EXPLORER iLi?

The EXPLORER iLi fleet was developed for the inspection of 8- to 36-inch diameter natural gas pipelines that are considered “unpiggable” by conventional inline inspection tools.

EXPLORER iLi is the Ideal Inline Inspection Tool
for Any Natural Gas Pipeline:

  • Limited or no flow
  • Valves and unbarred Tees
  • Short-radius or mitered bends
  • Back-to-back bends
  • Cased pipelines
  • Pipelines without pre-built launch and receive equipment
  • Pipelines that must remain in service during inspection

Typical EXPLORER iLi Use-Case Scenarios:

  • 192 Compliance
  • Risk Reduction and Asset Protection
  • In lieu of Hydrotest or Pre-Hydrotest
  • In lieu of ECDA or validation of ECDA at difficult to access areas
  • Inspection of cased crossings
  • Inspection scenarios where service disruption is not a viable option
    • Roads, highways, and intersections
    • Urban buildings and suburban neighborhoods
    • Railways, railyards, and subways
    • Rivers, lakes, and canals
    • Bridges, overpasses, and other transport infrastructure

(see our use-cases section for a more comprehensive review)

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EXPLORER iLi Robots


Explorer-8 iLi

8 inch diameter
EXPLORER iLi 8

Pipe Diameter: 8″

Rated Pressure: 750psi

Self-Propelled Inspection Speed: 20ft/min

Bypass: 50%

  • Bi-Directional
  • Tetherless
  • Inline Charging
  • Video
  • MFL Metal Loss Sensor
  • LDS Deformation Sensor
  • Vertical Segment
  • Back to Back
  • Mitered Bend
  • Valve (full port)
  • Tee (barred or unbarred)

Explorer 10-14

10 to 14 inch diameter
EXPLORER iLi 10/14

Pipe Diameter: 10″, 12″, 14″

Rated Pressure: 750psi

Self-Propelled Inspection Speed: 20ft/min

Bypass: 50%

  • Bi-Directional
  • Tetherless
  • Inline Charging
  • Video
  • MFL Metal Loss Sensor
  • LDS Deformation Sensor
  • Vertical Segment
  • Back to Back
  • Mitered Bend
  • Valve (full port)
  • Tee (barred or unbarred)

Explorer 16-18

16 to 18 inch diameter
EXPLORER iLi 16/18

Pipe Diameter: 16″, 18″

Rated Pressure: 750psi

Self-Propelled Inspection Speed: 20ft/min

Bypass: 50%

  • Bi-Directional
  • Tetherless
  • Inline Charging
  • Video
  • MFL Metal Loss Sensor
  • LDS Deformation Sensor
  • Vertical Segment
  • Back to Back
  • Mitered Bend
  • Valve (full port)
  • Tee (barred or unbarred)

Explorer 20-26

20 to 26 inch diameter
EXPLORER iLi 20/26

Pipe Diameter: 20″, 22″, 24″, 26″

Rated Pressure: 750psi

Self-Propelled Inspection Speed: 20ft/min

Bypass: 50%

  • Bi-Directional
  • Tetherless
  • Inline Charging
  • Video
  • MFL Metal Loss Sensor
  • LDS Deformation Sensor
  • Vertical Segment
  • Back to Back
  • Mitered Bend
  • Valve (full port)
  • Tee (barred or unbarred)

Explorer 30-36

30 to 36 inch diameter
EXPLORER iLi 30/36

Pipe Diameter: 30″, 36″

Rated Pressure: 750psi

Self-Propelled Inspection Speed: 20ft/min

Bypass: 50%

  • Bi-Directional
  • Tetherless
  • Inline Charging
  • Video
  • MFL Metal Loss Sensor
  • LDS Deformation Sensor
  • Vertical Segment
  • Back to Back
  • Mitered Bend
  • Valve (full port)
  • Tee (barred or unbarred)

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EXPLORER iLi Sensors

Specifications of Magnetic Flux Leakage Sensors

General Metal Loss Sizing Specification Nominal Pipe Case Pipe
Depth at POD = 90% 0.10t 0.20t
Depth Accuracy (80% accuracy) ± 0.10t ± 0.20t
Width Accuracy (80% accuracy) ± .75 inches
± 20 mm
± 1 inches
± 25 mm
Length Accuracy (80% accuracy) ± . 5 inches
± 12 mm
± 0.75 inches
± 20 mm
  • t = wall thickness
  • Detection threshold and sizing accuracy in bends are unspecified
  • Detection threshold increases to 0.15t and depth sizing accuracy degrades to ±0.15t in seamless pipe
  • Depth sizing accuracy degrades to ±0.20t near girth welds or in heat affected zones

Specifications of Laser Deformation Sensors

Sizing Specification Dent Case Pipe
Depth at POD = 90% 1% of pipe nominal OD 1% of pipe nominal
Depth Accuracy (80% confidence) ± 1% of pipe nominal OD ± 1% of pipe nominal OD
Width Accuracy (80% confidence) ± 2 inches
± 50 mm
± 2 inches
± 50 mm
Length Accuracy (80% confidence) ± 1 inches
± 25 mm
± 1 inches
± 25 mm

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