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Inspector Robot Scales 300 Foot-Tall Wind Turbines

Illustration for article titled Inspector Robot Scales 300 Foot-Tall Wind Turbines

How do you inspect a wind turbine? It's actually a pretty tedious process that takes around four hours and involves someone standing out in a field, stopping the turbine, and photographing any problems through a powerful telephoto lens. To make it infinitely easier, GE made a spiderman-like wall climbing robot.

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GE partnered with a New York robotics company called International Climbing Machines to make a machine that can climb vertically 300 feet with a camera strapped on its back. From the sky, it snaps photos of the giant fan and beams them back to the ground in just a few minutes. A vacuum pump on the robot's belly hugs the surface it's scaling tightly so it doesn't fall, and the seal is so strong that the little guy can shlep a 225 pound load. And this real-life Wall-E could get even more high tech; GE engineers are tinkering with microwave scanners that could peep inside the blades and detect any impending breakdowns. [GE Reports]

Image credit: GE Reports

Illustration for article titled Inspector Robot Scales 300 Foot-Tall Wind Turbines
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Illustration for article titled Inspector Robot Scales 300 Foot-Tall Wind Turbines

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DISCUSSION

kellygee19
Love My V8 Finder of Paths

A few questions that come to mind:

1) Is there any money that is saved with the introduction of wind turbines? this is including manufacturing, maintenance costs, technology upgrades, etc. or are the turbines strictly an environmental savior used to reduce dependency on fossil fuels?

2) What does this robot mean for green job creation? Could its introduction be replacing humans?

I am asking with all sincerity and not being a hater. I like the whole wind turbine movement and like all spinning objects, I find them fascinating.

And when they self destruct, it is incredible to watch!