Robotic Electric Transmission Device Development

The Challenge:  How to efficiently inspect the nationwide web of electric transmission lines, often in locations that are remote, to find trouble spots before they create a problem.

Early Phase Robotic Prototype

Early Phase Robotic Prototype

The Solution:  Our client is developing a workhorse robotic device, using high-definition visual and infra-red spectrum cameras with advanced image processing to inspect the right-of-way and component conditions.  The robot will be able to determine clearances between conductors, trees, and other objects in the right-of-way. The cameras also will be able to compare current and past images of specific components to identify high-risk conditions or degradation. As an alternative to the camera, the robot may be equipped with a Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) sensor to measure conductor position, vegetation, and nearby structures.

Meeting the Technical Challenges:

ATI personnel have applied their engineering expertise to solve technical challenges in the robot development in the following areas:

  • Minimization of weight while maintaining structural integrity
  • Management of the center of gravity of the robot assembly
  • Provision for conduction cooling of internal components
  • Resolution of external sensors location conflicts
  • Compatible placement of internal electronic and mechanical components
  • Provisions for environmental sealing and weather resistance
  • Prototype component procurement, assembly and servicing
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