How long it is needed to find the origin of a power outage in a hard-to-reach power line after a strong storm? This week, the GRVC team has demonstrated that this is possible in less than 15 minutes. More in detail, a fleet of UAVs (two multi-rotors and one fixed-wing aircraft with VTOL capabilities) carried out the inspection of several kilometres of a real power line autonomously. For that, the team followed a plan that took into account the heterogeneous capabilities of the different robots, their energy consumption and the wind conditions, among other information. As a result, the robots were able to find a simulated outage and go back to their operation bases. There, they landed autonomously in recharging stations making use of vision-based algorithms to be ready for the next operation. Finally, an additional UAV performed the accurate real-time mapping of the area around the detected failure. Thanks to this map, a team of workers can plan the best strategy to repair the failure. All these advances were showcased in a live demonstration organized for our end user ENDESA.
Also, the GRVC team achieved for the first time the realization of an aerial transportation, deployment and retrieval operation of an anthropomorphic dual arm system on a real power line to conduct the installation of bird flight diverters while rolling along the line. The experiments were successfully carried out in the ATLAS Flight Center managed by FADA-CATEC as part of the preparation of the final demonstration of the AERIAL-CORE project, including a live demonstration to several people from ENDESA.