Transmission line maintenance robots capable of crossing obstacles: State-of-the-art review and challenges ahead

Authors

  • Kristopher Toussaint,

    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering McGill University 817 Sherbrooke St. West Montréal, QC H3A 2K6, Canada
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  • Nicolas Pouliot,

    1. Robotics and Civil Engineering Hydro-Québec IREQ 1740, Boulevard Lionel-Boulet Varennes, QC J3X 1S1, Canada
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  • Serge Montambault

    1. Robotics and Civil Engineering Hydro-Québec IREQ 1740, Boulevard Lionel-Boulet Varennes, QC J3X 1S1, Canada
    Current affiliation:
    1. Serge Montambault has been project leader at Hydro-Québec IREQ for the transmission line robotics research program since 1998. Hydro-Québec generates, transmits, and distributes electricity, mainly using renewable energy sources, in particular hydroelectricity. IREQ provides technical support to Hydro-Québec's divisions by carrying out technological innovation projects in cooperation with universities, research centers, and industry. For further information, contact Mr. Montambault directly
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Abstract

Power line inspection and maintenance already benefit from developments in mobile robotics. This paper presents a comprehensive review of the state of the art. It focuses on mobile robots designed to cross obstacles found on a typical transmission line while using the conductor as support for traveling. Promising areas of research and development as well as challenges that remain to be solved are discussed with a view to developing fully autonomous technologies. Maintenance tasks, including inspection and repairs, are identified as high-value applications in transmission live-line work. Conclusions are drawn from experience, and the future of mobile robotics applied to transmission line maintenance is discussed. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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