With a 13.1 inch tall mid-sized model, Helical Robotics’s HR-MP series robots can scale immense wind turbines to inspect them for damage. Unlike the similar tethered prototype GE and International Climbing Machines began developing last year, these wheeled robots are wireless. Controlled by a radio signal and equipped with digital cameras, the climbing robots may serve to replace high powered telescopes used to inspect wind turbines from the ground, which grow less effective as towers get taller and blades get longer. Remote controlled climbing robots also offer a safer, more practical alternative to inspectors climbing up themselves.
Weighing 42 pounds, the HR-MP20 model (pictured above) can carry up to 20 pounds of sensors and other equipment, has a top climbing speed of 43.6 feet per minute, and, according to Helical Robotics, offers a radio control range of 2500 feet. Using five neodymium magnets, the robot is capable of clinging to curved metal surfaces ranging from 7 feet in diameter to flat planes. Controlled by a technician on the ground, once the HR-MP20 scales a tower, it can navigate onto the blades for inspection.
image via Helical Robotics
written by Boris Bold, June 11, 2013
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