Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Power Line Robot

PostedJuly 18, 2010

Download File (mp3)


Randy Atkins: Major blackouts can be caused by something as simple as an untrimmed tree.  So Andrew Phillips, of the Electric Power Research Institute, is designing a robot inspector that will slide along the lightening protection “shield wire” that’s above high voltage transmission lines…

Andrew Phillips: …and at intermittent points stops and takes very detailed images as well as collects information from sensors that have been deployed on the structure.

Randy Atkins: Problems would prompt alarms sent by satellite or the cell phone network.  The robots travel about three miles per hour, unless there’s an outage.

Andrew Phillips: We are designing it in a high-speed mode, ten miles-per-hour, to get to the site of where that outage occurred.

Randy Atkins: The monorail-like robot gets power by occasionally tapping the grid and has solar cells as back-up.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, 103-point-5 F-M and WTOP-dot-com.

ANCHOR TAG

Prototype testing continues and deployment is scheduled to begin in about six years.


Resources


  • YouTube video of the robot