Overhead transmission lines are among the utility industry’s most widely distributed assets, traversing tens of thousands of miles, often in remote locations. Reliability requirements, component aging, and right-of-way inspection compliance drive the need for thorough, timely inspections along the entire length of these lines. Such comprehensive assessments by maintenance personnel, working on the ground or in aircraft, currently entail significant expense.
To expand inspection capabilities and increase cost-effectiveness, EPRI is developing a transmission line inspection robot designed to traverse 80 miles of line at least twice a year, collecting high-fidelity information that utilities can act on in real time. As the robot crawls the transmission line, it identifies high-risk vegetation and right-of-way encroachment and assesses component conditions by means of various inspection technologies.
The robot will be essentially self-sufficient, using its solar panels to recharge its batteries and power its motion, communications, and data gathering and processing.
Looks cool and Eco-friendly (solar panels) :)