Robotic Camera Encounters 5-Foot Alligator Inside a Storm Drain

A robotic camera deployed into a storm drain to investigate a pothole came face to face with a five-foot alligator.

Incredible footage captured on May 5 was shared by the City of Oviedo in Florida of the robot camera making its way through the pipe when it encounters the alligator.

At first, the stormwater crew operating the camera thought it was a toad because of the two glowing eyes. However, as the robot approaches the gator stands up and starts backing away revealing its long tail.

Alligator in a storm drain
At first, the stormwater crew thought the pair of eyes belonged to a toad.
Alligator in a storm drain
But as the robotic camera got closer it became clear that the creature was an alligator.

“Just another reason not to go wandering down into the stormwater pipes,” writes Oviedo City Government on Facebook, a municipality located northeast of Orlando. “Thank goodness our crews have a robot.”

After the alligator turns around its starts walking down the drain with the robot camera in pursuit.

“You can see in the video they got about 340 feet in before the robot got stuck on a little indentation and the alligator meandered off,” adds the City.

Alligator in a storm drain
The alligator turns around to get away from the robotic camera.
Alligator in a storm drain
But the camera follows the 5-foot alligator.

The four-wheel robotic camera is designed to be dropped into storm drains so it can explore storm pipes and search for anomalies beneath the roadway.

In this case, the stormwater crew from Oviedo was investigating potholes that had appeared in the above road.

“They usually bring the robot out to inspect when there are potential roadway defects to see if any pipes have leaks, cracks, defects, et cetera underground,” adds Ovidedo City Government.

Storm Drain Cameras

The video highlights the multitude of ways imaging technology is used in our modern world. These specialized robotic crawlers use a camera mounted on the front capable of capturing high-quality video footage to identify issues.

The cameras used on these robots are typically equipped with high-powered lights to provide visibility in low-light conditions, such as when they get to deep or dark parts of the drain system where an alligator may be lurking.

The robots are also often equipped with sensors that can detect and measure water flow rates, as well as monitor water quality and temperature.