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Hydro-Québec power lines robot

Hydro-Québec unveils LineRanger robot for checking live electric power lines

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.