And when it comes to the expensive, claustrophobic and sometimes dangerous work of inspecting natural gas and oil pipelines, that somebody might be a robot.
"We can make sure that these critical elements of energy infrastructure operate more safely, more reliably, more economically," said Edward Petit de Mange, managing director at the San Diego hub of Diakont, an international high-tech engineering and manufacturing company with offices in Russia, Italy and North America.
According to the federal government, more than 2.6 million miles of pipelines supply the nation’s energy needs.
But aging and deteriorating pipelines pose substantial risks.
In Northern California, a natural gas pipeline explosion killed eight people in San Bruno in September 2010.
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