IIT Kanpur's emerging robot enables unmanned substation inspections, identifies power faults

IIT Kanpur's emerging robot enables unmanned substation inspections, identifies power faults

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Researchers and students from IIT Kanpur are collaborating with POWERGRID to develop robotics technology for improving safety during power outages. The Smart Materials, Structures and Systems (SMSS) Lab, housed within the Department of Mechanical Engineering at IIT Kanpur, is spearheading the development of these innovative operations and maintenance (O&M) robots.

These robots are designed to assist or even replace engineers in executing repetitive and hazardous tasks associated with the substation lifecycle. The collaboration between IIT Kanpur and POWERGRID holds the promise of increased operational availability, particularly in unmanned facilities requiring continuous operation.

More about IIT Kanpur's automated O&M robot

Under the guidance of Prof. Bishakh Bhattacharya, a team of students at the SMSS lab has been working diligently on this revolutionary project since February 2024.

Equipped with advanced sensors such as IRIS control cameras, IR thermal sensors, LIDAR, and fire alarms, the O&M robot boasts an autonomous navigation system and teleoperation capabilities. This enables it to navigate substations autonomously and conduct comprehensive inspections to identify essential components requiring maintenance, ensuring uninterrupted operations.

This initiative follows in the footsteps of successful deployments of similar robots for electrical O&M tasks in other parts of the world. For instance, Avangrid Inc., a USA-based tech company, developed an autonomous robot dog for substation inspections, while another similar robot was deployed for operations in Scotland.

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