Zurich/Paris - The French power grid operator RTE has been testing the autonomous inspection solution developed by ANYbotics. To this end, the ANYmal robot recorded thermal, visual, acoustic and frequency data in real time at selected installation. The aim here is to prevent system failures.

RTE tests autonomous inspection solution from ANYbotics
ANYmal Brings Autodiagnostics to High-Voltage Transmission at RTE. Source: ANYbotics

The French power grid operator RTE, headquartered in Paris, has been testing the autonomous four-legged inspection robot ANYmal developed by ANYbotics. With the inspection solution from the Zurich-based robotics firm and spin-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH), RTE is aiming to ascertain the extent to which it can help to avoid system failures, further details of which can be found in a press release.

The press release explains that RTE’s objective was to test the robot’s first possible use cases in typical situations and evaluate its technological maturity. As part of its digitization and automation strategy, RTE is looking at introducing robotic system monitoring for its substations. This could reduce the risks to the health and safety of employees in addition to increasing the efficiency of its facilities.

For the tests, the ANYmal was put through its paces at three replica installations housed at Campus Transfo, RTE’s technological and industrial lab based in Jonage on the outskirts of Lyon. “Full autonomy and extreme mobility allowed ANYmal to monitor and assess assets in unsuitable conditions, adverse weather conditions, and darkness, thereby preventing operators from taking additional risks”, the press release states.

In the high-voltage substations, for example, where the systems are normally switched off to allow work due to excessive electromagnetic fields, ANYmal safely carried out routine checks during operation. “For us, it was a real success”, concludes Jean-Yves Astic, R&D Program Director at RTE, in the press release.

RTE operates 105,000 kilometers of high and ultra-high-voltage lines that extend across the whole of France in addition to 50 interconnections with neighboring European countries. ko

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