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Power line robotic device for overhead line inspection and maintenance

Rebecca Miller (College of Engineering, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA)
Farshid Abbasi (College of Engineering, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA)
Javad Mohammadpour (College of Engineering, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA)

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Article publication date: 16 January 2017

470

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to focus on the design and testing of a robotic device for power line inspection and cleaning. The focus for this design is on simplicity and compactness with a goal to create a device for linemen and other power line workers to keep in their toolbox.

Design/methodology/approach

The prototype uses V-grooved wheels to grip the line and can pass obstacles such as splices. It is equipped with a video camera to aid in line inspection and a scrub brush to clean debris from the line. The operator controls the device remotely from a laptop through a wireless connection. The novel way in which this device moves down the power line allows compactness while still being able to overcome in-line obstacles up to a certain size.

Findings

The device has been tested on a test bed in the lab. The device is able to move down a line and expand to overcome in-line obstacles as it travels. Testing proved the mechanical feasibility and revealed new requirements for a future prototype.

Practical implications

The device can be used for power line asset management by power companies; line inspection can lead to preventative repairs, leading to less downtime.

Social implications

It stands to reduce costs related to maintenance and mitigates down time and emergency repairs.

Originality/value

Innovative features include its size, mobility and control methods. Overall, the impact of this work extends to the utility maintenance sector and beyond.

Keywords

Citation

Miller, R., Abbasi, F. and Mohammadpour, J. (2017), "Power line robotic device for overhead line inspection and maintenance", Industrial Robot, Vol. 44 No. 1, pp. 75-84. https://doi.org/10.1108/IR-06-2016-0165

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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