CUES SPiDER Offers Wireless 3D Manhole Inspection With Color Imagery

CUES, a leading manufacturer of CCTV pipeline inspection equipment, has designed an innovative wireless manhole scanning technology — the SPiDER scanner. This scanner can auto-detect manhole shapes, materials and dimensions of typical manhole components. The SPiDER’s accuracy is a fraction of an inch due to its dense point cloud.

The SPiDER scanner is a truly wireless, color, manhole inspection technology in a lightweight and compact form, says Pierre Mikhail, director of the CUES Manhole Inspection Division.

“The SPiDER scanner provides a new outlook on how manhole data is collected and applied,” says Mikhail. “While other cameras and inspection devices use a payout reel to determine how deep the camera is in a manhole, the 40-pound, tetherless, self-contained SPiDER typically is deployed using a telescopic mast or tripod for stability. Switching from tripod to mast only requires a pushpin no-software configuration.”

It is operated with a tablet computer, which controls the scanners and lights, Mikhail adds. “Any off-the-shelf tablet will work with SPiDER with no software to install. We have worked with many IT groups from many cities who enjoy the low maintenance of SPiDER software.”


This portable technology frees manhole scanning from problems associated with inaccurate, poorly calibrated cable counters and poorly managed cables which can be costly to repair. SPiDER does not require a truck or data/power cable for operational use. Scanning data is recorded on the unit.

The SPiDER is capable of wider and deeper structures up to 15 feet wide and 75 feet deep. It is deployed into the manhole nonstop at 7 feet per minute. The system is user-friendly and requires no software to use in the field. The truck setup required is also very basic. Any truck setup will work, and no power system is required, according to the manufacturer.

Any structure can be scanned with SPiDER — not just manholes. Some examples of structures are electrical chambers, lift stations, wet wells, water wells, reactors, tanks, pump stations and water valve chambers.

The SPiDER collects millions of 3D points during each manhole scan that provide engineering and survey quality information about manhole geometry and condition. Information gathered can be used for structural assessment, pre- and post-rehabilitation analysis, hydrological surveys and general condition assessment.    

The SPiDER produces 3D textured point cloud renderings of manhole geometry to provide 3D visualization that can be imported into a wide range of 3D viewers and can be delivered in 3D MPEG point cloud (which can be converted to surface model files), CAD model and virtual model files. Operators can generate an MACP Report using their preferred NASSCO-certified software.

The SPiDER provides a 190-degree field-of-view live video stream — an ideal tool for inflow and infiltration studies which depend on live video to detect moving water. 

CUES is based in Orlando, Florida, and manufactures and sells CCTV inspection, rehabilitation,and pipe profiling equipment, along with asset inspection/decision support software for sanitary and storm sewers, industrial process lines and waterlines. CUES also designs, manufactures and sells a broad range of pipeline rehabilitation and profiling equipment.

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