Inspecting machinery 300 feet above the ground can be complicated. According to GE, a stereotypical wind turbine inspection involves the inspector in the field stopping the turbine, rotating the blades, and inspecting and photographing any potential defects through a telescope—all of which can take up to four hours. GE and International Climbing Machines developed a robot to do complete this task.
This robot has a vacuum pump at its center, which creates a negative pressure—strong enough to support up to 225 pounds—between the underside of its tracks and the wall (any hard surface such as concrete, brick, or metal). It even works in wet conditions. The soft tracks maintain grip when riding over bumps in the surface. This particular robot is equipped with a high-definition video camera to transmit to the inspector on the ground.
[Image Credit: GE]