ClearObject Helps Indiana Lead the Way in Pipeline Inspection Innovation with Exciting Drone Technology

Feb 15, 2023 | Blog

FISHERS, IN —  The City of Fishers and ClearObject are hosting a demonstration session on Monday, February 20th to showcase the first-ever drone inspection of an underground wastewater pipeline in the state of Indiana.


As a leader in the Smart Cities movement, Fishers, IN has been undertaking a comprehensive inspection of its underground assets – something that is essential for preventing sewage backups, sinkholes, and other catastrophes. 

Some of the most critical pipelines cannot be easily inspected, and Fishers has been evaluating advanced technology to tackle these assets. On the 20th, Fishers has arranged for a drone to fly through and inspect an “impossible” to inspect stormwater line – extending nearly 1000 ft underground.

The use of drones for pipeline inspections is revolutionizing the wastewater industry, offering a safer and more efficient method for detecting and preventing issues. This demo will showcase the latest advancements in drone technology and provide a hands-on demonstration of how these drones can be used for inspecting pipelines in real-world scenarios.

Leading the live drone inspection is ClearObject’s Senior Wastewater Advisor Justin Starr. Justin is the Endowed Professor of Advanced Technologies at the Community College of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh, PA, where he teaches courses on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Sensors, and Manufacturing. Justin wrote the book on pipeline inspections Water and Wastewater Pipeline Assessment Technologies (2021, CRC Press), and has been at the intersection of technology and the water industry.

Justin Starr – Senior Wastewater Advisor

Before joining ClearObject, Dr. Starr was Chief Technology Officer at RedZone Robotics, a manufacturer of pipeline inspection robots and asset management software. He also worked on several DARPA programs for mobile autonomous sea bases and anti-submarine warfare. Justin holds 12 U.S. Patents on pipeline inspection robots, data visualization technology and AI-based analytical tools. He earned his B.S. in Engineering Science from the University of Virginia and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Materials Engineering from the University of Florida.

The City of Fishers has graciously opened this event to a select group of elected leaders, civil engineers, and wastewater professionals to give others an opportunity to see this advanced technology firsthand and learn the practical considerations required to fly drones under our feet. The City timed this inspection to coincide with the WWETT show in Indianapolis since engineers from around the country have expressed interest in seeing a flight firsthand.