The 3D printed robot that moves on power lines.
Robots are a huge theme when it comes to 3D printing. Makers are fond of drones, or even Terminator-like robot with 3D printed parts, but we often forget that some robots can be quite simple and don’t necessarily need to look like humans. This is anyway the bet of Nich Morozovsky, mechanical engineering graduate student at University of California San Diego, who designed a robot that can moves on power lines to look for damages in the wire.
His robot, the SkySweeper, is designed to achieve only this one task. Therefore, he achieved to produce it with only one motor and it’s reasonably priced. The SkySweeper only uses off-the-shelf electronics and 3D printed plastic parts.
“Current line inspection robots are large, complex, and expensive. Utility companies may also use manned or unmanned helicopters equipped with infrared imaging to inspect lines,” said Morozovsky. “This is much simpler.”
Morozovsky plans to introduce the robot at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in Tokyo in November, as part of a paper titled “A Low Degrees of Freedom, Dynamic High Wire Robot.” The SkySweeper is competing in the Road to Maker Faire Challenge to win $2,500 to pay for expenses for the World Maker Faire in New York in September.
If you like this robot, go vote for Skysweeper until August 13 at http://review.wizehive.com/