• Inspector gadget

    Inspector gadget

    Power cuts are often caused by weather-related incidents that result in severe damage. South Africa’s power utility Eskom currently inspects its lines by helicopter or foot patrol, which are both expensive and sometimes hazardous. But this could all change thanks to a prototype power-line robot, built by two local engineers as part of a masters degree project.

    According to a Fin24 report, the robot is first hoisted up a pylon by crane, after which a linesman attaches it to a power line. The device then acts as a vehicle that transports inspection cameras and other sensors that roll along the power line, providing a detailed account of the line and support structures.

    Trevor Lorimer, the robotics engineer, says that in the longer term, robots will be able to remain on the line indefinitely to provide data on a more regular basis, compared to current methods.

    13 September 2016
    Image: Fin24