Domenica, 21 Ottobre 2018
MILAN

Robot monkey for power outages developed by Italians

English
© ANSA

Milan, April 3 - Scientists in Italy are developing
a robotic monkey able to climb power lines like vines in the
jungle and locate the source of outages.
Described as an anti-blackout tightrope walker, the device
is called Ilena, an Italian acronym for National Power Line
Inspector, and it will soon become autonomous, scientists at the
RSE research laboratory in Brugherio, north of Milan, said
Wednesday.
Ilena is made of stainless steel and aluminum and weighs 30
kilos.
It has two mechanical arms, each with two motorized wheels
allowing it to slide across electric cables at a speed of 800
meters per hour.
"Just like a monkey swinging from vines, Ilena can hang on
with a single arm while the other reaches out over whatever is
blocking the line," said Fiorenzo Mazzarella, the mastermind
behind the robot. "Thanks to four micro-cameras and numerous
sensors, it can transmit valuable information back to operators
on the ground".
For now, the device is operated by remote control, but
developers say it will soon be completely autonomous.
"The ultimate goal is to create an autonomous robot, which
can spend a long time hanging onto the lines, conveying all the
information to a single operations center," said Mazzarella.

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