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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 August, 2005, 08:13 GMT 09:13 UK
Mini-robots explore city tunnels
A Tunnel robot
The robots check for any blockages in the tunnels
Robots have been used under a Somerset, city to see if a network of tunnels can help reduce the risk of flooding.

The robots were sent out by the Environment Agency in an exploration of hundreds of tunnels beneath Wells.

Small cameras are mounted onto a four wheel drive chassis to record the state and routes of the passageways.

The robots are particularly useful for detecting blockages in the tunnels, which could be used to divert flood waters and manage river levels.

Paul Knight, spokesman for The Environment Agency, said there was a real risk of flooding in the city.

"We are currently looking at exactly what that risk is, evaluating it and seeing if there is any way we can reduce the risk of flooding through either improved maintenance or capital investment," he said.

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