Semi-automated power pole inspection

Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) asset inspection technology

Project Overview

Power line failure is a critical issue that causes electricity to be drawn from the remaining lines, and in the worst case, cause large blackouts. Maintanance on these is imperitive, but because the electricity networks are scattered, visiting each power pole itself becomes inefficient. So companies have sought to the sky to help this by using drones. However, in doing this they have created another risk in the drone crashing into the line. To fix this issue we are developing an autonomy package to ensure that human-piloted inspection drones do not collide with poles, cross arms and wires.

Project Objectives

This project developed an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) asset inspection technology that:

  • increases the safety of the pilot.
  • reduces the required pilot skill level for close proximity data capture.
  • reduces the cognitive load required by the pilot.
  • improves the quality of collected data for the purpose of visual inspection.

When inspecting power lines, a pilot needs to ensure they stay a 1.5m away from the power lines

Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) inspects power poles

We use 3d cameras to localise the position of the power lines