Helical Robotics announces new wind turbine inspection robots


April 3, 2013

Helical Robotics' HR-MP20 wind turbine-inspecting robot

Helical Robotics' HR-MP20 wind turbine-inspecting robot

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Currently, wind turbines are inspected for damage in two main ways: someone stands on the ground below them and uses a telescope, or people use rigging systems to actually climb across them. Now, Oregon, Wisconsin-based Helical Robotics is offering an alternative – camera-equipped turbine-climbing robots.

The HR-MP series of wheeled robots cling to the turbine tower’s metallic vertical surface using magnets, and then proceed to climb up to get a better look at the blades and other components via radio remote control.

A variety of sizes are available (or are in the works), with the HR-MP20 occupying the middle of the range. It weighs 42 pounds (19 kg), can carry up to 20 pounds (9 kg) of sensors and other gear while climbing, at speeds of up to 43.6 feet per minute (13.3 meters/minute). Five neodymium magnets allow it to adhere to both flat and curved metal surfaces, up to seven feet (2.3 meters) in diameter.

Should you be wanting one to inspect your own personal wind turbine, you’ll need to fork out at least US$19,995 – depending on the robot's specific configuration. You might also be interested in International Climbing Machines’ Climber robot, although it’s tethered as opposed to radio-controlled.

An HR-MP20 can be seen in action in the video below.

Source: Helical Robotics via Clean Technica

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth
1 Comment

Best robotics application I've seen in a while.

Slight clarification: Helical Robotics is based in Oregon, Wisconsin - a small town outside of Madison, not Oregon the state.

(Ed. Thanks for pointing that out - we've clarified that in the text.)

Martin Cavassa
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