Hydro-Québec has launched what the company describes as “a new milestone in the development of power line inspection robots”. (See video below.)
The company has unveiled a functional prototype of its new robotic platform, the LineRanger, for the checking of overhead power lines.
The robot, developed by Hydro-Québec’s research institute (IREQ) in Varennes, is a new technological solution for the inspection of conductor bundles on high-voltage transmission lines.
About half of the Hydro-Québec transmission system consists of lines made up of conductor bundles.
This type of line is also widely used around the world.
Conductor bundles present special challenges for a robot.
Hydro-Québec says its “revolutionary built-in mechanism” enables the LineRanger to surmount obstacles quickly and easily, for faster, simpler inspection of this type of line.
Serge Montambault, manager expertise robotic inspection and maintenance at Hydro-Québec, said: “What really makes the LineRanger different is that it’s easy for field crews to use. No specialized team is required.”
Hydro-Québec says the LineRanger has a user-friendly interface and can easily be set up on a line, making it “ideal for large‑scale implementation”.
Eventually, says Hydro-Québec, the LineRanger will be able to inspect about 20 km of line a day, without interfering with power transmission, because it can operate on live lines.