China: A small robot, remotely controlled by workers in the maintenance unit of the State Grid Sichuan Electric Power Company, was used for the first time for grid maintenance.
The robot's true significance, however is that it is powered by technology developed for space exploration.
Robots are often used in substations in China for maintenance, but they are usually loaded with different sensors for gathering information. However, this one can directly operate in the power boxes, said Zhang Yao, a worker with the Sichuan company.
The robot was jointly developed by an institution under China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation and Zhang's company.
Zhang added that the robot is expected to be more widely used in two years.
Since April, Zhang's team has started to conduct studies on the robot for wider applications, with the ultimate aim of replacing part of the human operations gradually.