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LineScout Technology: Development of an Inspection Robot Capable of Clearing Obstacles While Operating on a Live Line

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2 Author(s)

Robotic systems are used in a range of applications to carry out inspection and repair tasks in hostile environments and in otherwise inaccessible locations. Applied robotics has found several niche applications in Hydro-Quebec operations. One example of a recently developed robotic solution for power line applications is the LineROVer Technology. Now that the technology has proven its worth for power system applications, the next logical step in the project is to develop a vehicle capable of clearing such obstacles as insulator strings, vibration dampers, aircraft warning spheres and corona rings. It must also clear spacer dampers and insulator strings as it travels along conductor bundles. The LineScout robot developed meets this requirement and can clear obstacles as it travels down a line. It can move along several axes, allowing it to adjust its shape in real time to various line configurations and to a wide range of obstacles while remaining as light and compact as possible. The robot's geometry was engineered to give it at least six possible obstacle-clearing sequences, making it versatile in unforeseen situations. The robot can operate on an energized line, has one-day battery life and can be remotely controlled 5 km away. The control approach and electronics allow intuitive human operation of the robot. Moreover, it can operate semi-autonomously, learning to clear obstacles by means of automated sequences. The LineScout Technology described in this paper is a versatile moving platform that extends live-line inspection capabilities and lends itself to future power line repair work

Published in:

ESMO 2006 - 2006 IEEE 11th International Conference on Transmission & Distribution Construction, Operation and Live-Line Maintenance

Date of Conference:

15-19 Oct. 2006