Robots for Electrical Substation Inspection: A Summary of Lab Tests, Observations, and Experiences


To research the feasibility of these emerging technologies, EPRI and utility team members developed a systematic approach. First, EPRI and the team developed and prioritized functional specifications for robotic substation use cases. This answered the question, “What should a robot be able to do?” Next, the team scouted the market for commercially available robotic systems that met those specifications. This answered the question, “What robotic systems exist that meet the identified specifications?” Then, test plans were developed to evaluate four robotic within EPRI Laboratories: Charlotte Campus (indoor and outdoor), and the 138 kV research substation in Lenox, Massachusetts. This answered the question, “How do robotic technologies perform in representative utility environments?” EPRI and the team observed the robots in action, analyzed their performance against the test plan criteria. Finally, EPRI presented project updates and results in monthly team meetings and documented all the information in a final report. This answered the question, “What was learned?”

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

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