Robot Scampers Along Power Lines


The theme of robots being useful for going where we have a hard time going continues with a robot project to inspect power lines. Robots are increasingly being used for inspection and search applications. We have already put them inside all kinds of tubes (oil lines, water lines, sewer lines, digestive tracks) so it makes sense that we can apply the same concept to the outside of wires. Now that’s thinking outside the tube!

The robot is designed to check for damage on 3 inch diameter main power distribution cables. It has three types of sensors for assessing the condition of the cable insulation. It uses heat sensors, an acoustic sensor to listen for arcing, and ‘fringing electric field’ sensors to find ‘water trees’ that have seeped into the defects in the insulation. The robot also has video to show where it is as it communicates wirelessly back to the control base.

Read the whole story over at Robot Gossip 

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