Wall-E ‘look-a-like’ robot cleans Branscombe tower

Machine resembles title character from Pixar flick

A WATER tower in Branscombe has been cleaned by a robot which is said to resemble the children’s movie character Wall-E.

Panton McLeod used the VR600 to clean the floor of the structure - and the firm said it was only the third time such a device had been used in England.

The South West Water-owned tower had a natural build-up of material on its floor which needed removing, added the company.

The tower did not require draining and was operational during the work.

The VR600 is manoeuvred on tank-style tracks along the floor of any water storage structure, and removes any sediment build-up on the floor. In order to access the tower, the company had to hire a crane to lift the robot to the top of the 115feet high structure before disinfecting it and lowering it inside.

A team of engineers then manoeuvred the remote-controlled machine throughout the interior.

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Gordon McDonald, who heads Panton McLeod’s robotic division, said: “Until last year we have never used robots in water towers or other elevated water storage facilities.

“Branscombe Tower was another big challenge for the team as we had to hire a crane in order to hoist the robot to the top of the tower before we could begin cleaning the facility. Once this stage was complete, the rest was pretty straight forward and we are delighted with how smoothly the project was completed.”

The VR600 has also been used in Minety Tower, near Royal Wootton Bassett, and Whychurch Tower, near Malmesbury, for Wessex Water.

The Pixar-made movie Wall-E tells the story of a small waste-collecting robot which is left to clean up an abandoned, rubbish-soiled planet Earth.