November 3, 2017

Hydro-Québec takes a major step forward in the development of a semiautonomous drone for the inspection of power transmission lines

Hydro-Québec’s research institute IREQ continues to make progress with its LineDrone project. The drone can now land semiautonomously thanks to the addition of a new onboard vision system.

The vision system enables the drone to recognize power lines. This innovation provides invaluable support to the operator by ensuring safe deployment of the drone on power lines. In semiautonomous mode, the drone automatically aligns with the conductor, which means the pilot no longer has to stand directly beneath the power line to do so. This mode facilitates high-altitude landings, when operators lack the visual precision to line up the drone.

This major advance is an important first step towards a fully independent system.

Not only can the LineDrone land on and travel along a transmission line, it can also be equipped with tools and sensors to inspect power lines and spot corrosion.

IREQ is developing high-performance drones to inspect and maintain power lines.

Next step: equipping a drone that can operate on live lines with a brand-new measuring instrument!

Questions? Interested in participating in the development of this project?

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