Power supplier in Fujian deploys quadruped robot for 1st time in tunnel inspection

Therefore, electricity inspection has emerged as one of the main applications of quadrupeds, with DEEP Robotics leading the industry in the number of client adoptions.

A branch of State Grid in Fuzhou, capital of southeastern China’s Fujian Province, has deployed what media said is the first robot dog to inspect an electricity cable tunnel in the province.

The quadruped robot, which was supplied by Hangzhou-headquartered startup DEEP Robotics (云深处科技), was put through its paces in the underground section of a 220kV substation, where the cables are stored.

The robot, known as X20, is expected to complement or replace manual inspections.

Traditionally, inspections in the energy sector are performed by human employees, who make routine patrols of facilities and keep a written record of vital readings on electrical instruments.

Over the past few years, this practice has become increasingly obsolete amid a labor shortage, compounded by an aging work force in the electricity industry.

Therefore, electricity inspection has emerged as one of the main applications of quadrupeds, with DEEP Robotics leading the industry in the number of client adoptions.

Its robots can now be found in scenarios ranging from inspection to emergency response, and from rescue operation to geological mapping.

According to the company, X20, laden with mounts like depth cameras and high-precision lidars, navigates all kinds of complex terrains, capable of traversing obstacles and staircases with a height of 20cm and ascending a 30-degree slope.

As the robot climbs up and down stairs, it rotates the camera and lidar and trains them on the electricty cables and equipment in need of screening.

By introducing quadrupeds to automate the inspection work, they not just enhance efficiency for clients, but enable them to better manage equipment lifecycle, DEEP Robotics said in a statement.

This approach also can weed out 95% of cable defects, heating risks, underground blaze or other glitches, local media reported, citing local State Grid operators.

As it moves around, the robot relays information collected real-time to a remote platform for analysis, sounding the alarm to alert maintenance personnel in the case of a red flag.

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Ni Tao

Ni Tao is the founder and editor-in-chief of cnrobopedia. Prior to cnrobopedia, he had a full decade of experience with a major state-run English-language newspaper as a tech reporter and opinion writer. He is also a communications specialist, having provided consultancy services to established firms like Siemens, Philips, ABinBev, Diageo, Trip.com Group (Nasdaq: TCOM, HK: 9961), Jianpu Technology (NYSE: JT) and a handful of domestic startups. A graduate of Fudan University, he writes widely about China's business and tech scenes and other topics for global publications including South China Morning Post, SupChina, The Diplomat, CGTN, Banking Technology, among others, and tries to impart his experience to students at Fudan University Journalism School, where he is a part-time lecturer. When he's not writing about robotics, you can expect him to be on his beloved Yanagisawa saxophones, trying to play some jazz riffs, often in vain and occasionally against the protests of an angry neighbor. Get in touch with him by dropping a line at nitao0927@gmail.com.

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