Spot the dog’s power networks journey, and other stories

Robots are making an impact on asset management, but what does the future hold for robotics when it comes to the power sector?

In the summer, a plucky dog demonstrated its willingness to go the extra mile for humankind by reaching parts that are tricky, arduous or just plain impossible for people to get to.

But this was no ordinary hound. ‘Spot’ is a robot, and was investigating the intricate spaces in the depths of power networks as part of a trial by UK Power Networks. You can hear all about it in our forthcoming webinar, where Luca Grella, programme manager in the UKPN innovation team, will share insights and lessons learned from this robotics experiment.

Key applications which have been explored with Spot so far include remotely guided ‘walkies’ to get detailed network footage which is combined with a machine-learning platform to assess how quickly asset conditions are changing out in the field.

Initial results reveal Spot’s potential to reduce the time of maintenance inspections where staff work in confined spaces, by up to 50%. It’s estimated the project could initially save £162,000 per year, rising to £324,000 per year by 2028.

Sign up for the webinar today and hear more about robot Spot from Luca Grella. Other speakers confirmed for our power networks robotics special include Stewart Reid, head of innovation at SSEN Distribution, Mini Nambiar, innovation project manager at SSEN Transmission, and Ali Asmari, head of R&D at ULC Robotics. They all have stories to share of past, current and future projects using robots and automation for efficiency and safety gains in the power sector.