Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

SkySweeper robot makes inspecting power lines easy and inexpensive

Date:
August 6, 2013
Source:
University of California - San Diego
Summary:
Mechanical engineers have invented a robot designed to scoot along utility lines, searching for damage and other problems that require repairs. Made of off-the-shelf electronics and plastic parts printed on an inexpensive 3D printer, the SkySweeper prototype could be scaled up for less than $1,000, making it significantly more economical than the two models of robots currently used to inspect power lines.

SkySweeper is V-shaped with a motor-driven “elbow” and its ends are equipped with clamps that open and close as necessary to move it down utility lines, searching for damage, inch by inch. It was designed by graduate student Nick Morozovsky in the Coordinated Robotics Lab led by mechanical and aerospace engineering professor Tom Bewley.
Credit: UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering

Mechanical engineers at the University of California, San Diego invented a robot designed to scoot along utility lines, searching for damage and other problems that require repairs. Made of off-the-shelf electronics and plastic parts printed on an inexpensive 3D printer, the SkySweeper prototype could be scaled up for less than $1,000, making it significantly more economical than the two models of robots currently used to inspect power lines.

"Current line inspection robots are large, complex, and expensive. Utility companies may also use manned or unmanned helicopters equipped with infrared imaging to inspect lines," said Nick Morozovsky, a graduate student in mechanical engineering at UC San Diego, who designed the robot. "This is much simpler."

Morozovsky, who works in the lab of Professor Thomas Bewley at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, will introduce the robot at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, also known as IROS 2013, from Nov. 3 to 8 in Tokyo. He will also present a paper, titled "A Low Degrees of Freedom, Dynamic High Wire Robot," at the conference.

SkySweeper is V-shaped with a motor-driven "elbow" in the middle and its ends are equipped with clamps that open and close as necessary to move it down the line, inch by inch. Morozovsky is strengthening the clamps so they can release from the rope and swing down the line, one end to the other, thereby swinging past cable support points.

You can watch the robot in action here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5ew1ez7nzU&feature=youtu.be

SkySweeper could be outfitted with induction coils that would harvest energy from the power line itself, making it possible for the robot to stay deployed for weeks or months at a time. It could also be equipped with a mounted camera, which would transmit images to an inspection crew.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - San Diego. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - San Diego. "SkySweeper robot makes inspecting power lines easy and inexpensive." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130806145531.htm>.
University of California - San Diego. (2013, August 6). SkySweeper robot makes inspecting power lines easy and inexpensive. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130806145531.htm
University of California - San Diego. "SkySweeper robot makes inspecting power lines easy and inexpensive." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130806145531.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Google Plans To Speed Up Web Pages With New Image Format

Google Plans To Speed Up Web Pages With New Image Format

Newsy (July 21, 2014) Google is using compressed images in WebP format to help boost page loading times. The files are 25-to-34 percent smaller than PNGs and JPEGs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Uruguayan Creates Chess Game for Multiple Opponents

Uruguayan Creates Chess Game for Multiple Opponents

AFP (July 19, 2014) It no longer takes two to play chess – or at least according to a new version of the game invented by Uruguayan Gabriel Baldi, where up to four opponents can play. Duration: 00:31 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Clock Ticks Down on Internet Speed Debate

Clock Ticks Down on Internet Speed Debate

Reuters - US Online Video (July 18, 2014) The FCC received more than 800,000 comments on whether and how internet speeds should be regulated, even crashing its system. Lily Jamali reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Won't Call Games With In-App Add-Ons Free, Apple Will

Google Won't Call Games With In-App Add-Ons Free, Apple Will

Newsy (July 18, 2014) The European Commission asked Google and Apple not to label apps "free" if they include in-app purchases. Google has complied; Apple has resisted. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins