Since 1984, Kyushu Electric Power Company (KYUDEN) has made all‐out efforts to introduce outage‐free maintenance techniques. Robotic techniques are promoted as part of these efforts. Although the final objective is to develop a fully‐automatic hot‐line work robot, there are three steps in the technological development. The first step was the development of the bucket operation type manipulator Phase I, which was completed in 1989. Phase II, the second step in KYUDEN’s robot development, is one of semi‐automatic operation, with the operator assisting via remote control from a cabin on the ground. Tasks are conducted automatically, with the operator providing judgement and commands for each unit‐task. Development of Phase II was completed in December 1997. A field test of 17 Phase II units started at the end of 1999 following testing and operation training. This paper will present an outline of this robot system.
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