The sewer workers of Barcelona could be about to offload one of the smelliest parts of their job to drones that will undertake aerial patrols of the city’s underground network of sewers.

A sewer grate in Barcelona.

A sewer grate in Barcelona. Image by Eric Fischer / CC BY 2.0

If the scheme goes ahead, the drones will monitor air and water quality and check the sewers for blockages. They will be controlled from above ground and workers will only have to descend into the bowels of the city to change the robots’ batteries. The first trial took place at the beginning of December and the full fleet could be unleashed within two years.

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