Hydro-Québec and National Grid have signed an licensing agreement for the LineScout, a robotic device able to inspect high-voltage transmission lines. Under the licensing agreement, National Grid obtains the right to use LineScout Technology on the UK territory for a period of 10 years. The two companies are working together to broaden their collaborative approach to strategic research and development.
In an effort to improve reliability, inspections and safety, Hydro-Québec's research institute (IREQ) developed LineScout Technology. The remote-controlled robot uses cameras to inspect line conditions and discover irregularities, while also employing a smart navigation system to pinpoint locations in need of attention. The LineScout is able to maneuver around obstacles such as splices, hardware components and aviation warning markers.
"This remote-controlled robot will enhance overhead line maintenance. Unlike conventional transmission line servicing, the robot can service the lines while they are energized, saving precious company resources while reducing safety risks and downtime. It will be particularly useful for difficult-to-access locations, including motorway crossings, rivers and housing estates," mentioned Phil Haywood, Technology Application Engineer at National Grid.
"IREQ, our research institute, has been committed to working with utilities from around the world for 40 years now. Partnerships such as the one we are establishing with National Grid are the cornerstone of our open collaboration approach to technological innovation," said Serge Montambault, Project Manager – Robotics Expertise at Hydro- Québec.