Applications of Robotics in Distribution Systems


Recent EPRI work has focused on the prospects for emerging robotics technologies in distribution network applications. In this context, the project team has cast a wide net, embracing the full array of technologies that help human workers perform physical tasks in installation, repair, maintenance, inspection, and monitoring of distribution assets. The team gathered information through interviews with subject matter experts who are already using robotics for utility tasks, surveys of current literature, reviews of active uses and new projects, and direct hands-on research with current technology equipment. Although the focus of this work has been capitalizing on the potential within the electricity distribution network, much of this content can be applied more broadly across other utility operations environments.

This report begins by grounding the discussion in the types of machines under consideration, then moves on to current uses of robotic technology in this arena. Three emergent use cases are highlighted, including insights from related test-center experiments that EPRI is conducting. The discussion turns to current gaps in knowledge, addressing the unknowns that further research can illuminate. Forward motion in robotics and their applications requires a collaborative approach; the report concludes with discussions of potential research opportunities and collaborations.

EPRI Journal
Sunny Arokia Swamy Bellary
Sunny Arokia Swamy Bellary
Research Engineer - Robotics

EPRI Engineer | AI Enthusiast | Computer Vision Researcher | Robotics Tech Savvy | Food Lover | Wanderlust | Team Leader @Belaku | Musician |