UGA College of Engineering could change the way power lines are inspected, in appropriate engineering fashion… ROBOTS. Javad Mohammadpour, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at UGA, has led a team of graduate students in creating a safer and cheaper way to repair electrical wiring. The team has designed, prototyped and tested a robot that can glide along electrical distribution lines.
Mohammadpour says maintaining these electrical wires is a dangerous job.
” Power line workers lose their lives a lot of times just because of the fact that they have to go up there, they have to climb and they have to actually work on the power line”
In 2014, 31 people died in this field of work. Half were due to power line related deaths and 10 were from falling or spilling.
This new technology has the ability to look for problems or performing routine maintenance, without putting a person’s life at risk. It’s small enough for a single utility worker to use daily, weighing around 20-25 pounds. This is a huge improvement compared to some robots currently in use for the same job, that weigh up to 300 pounds. The robot is wireless, and has an on-board camera, so a utility worker can operate it by smartphone or laptop.
Mohammadpour wants to add more features to the robot, including GPS technology to tag specific locations on the line that workers need to inspect further, and overall making the robot more autonomous.