Through the efforts of China Mobile, the largest mobile operator in China, a system for remote inspection of the facility’s hydraulic structures has been introduced at one of the country’s hydroelectric power plants. The underwater robot, armed with HD cameras, examines the condition of the walls of the hydropower plant fender basin, which will avoid accidents and save huge funds for regular “dry” inspection of the pools. This is made possible by a 5G connection with sufficient bandwidth.
Traditionally, either divers, if the water supply could not be shut off, or workers, if the pools could be drained, have surveyed fender or soothing pools, which dampen turbulence and soothe streams of water emanating from the dam. In the first case, this is associated with a risk to life, and in the second, with many months of downtime. The latter is particularly costly for the operator, who can spend up to one million US dollars on service. Armed with high-resolution video cameras, underwater robots can do your job faster, cheaper and more efficiently.
At a hydropower plant in Guangyuan, Sichuan province, the experiment is operated by operators of an underwater robot. They also assess the degree of damage to the walls of the pool. The cost of such a survey cost the operator about seven times less than traditional methods. And this is not talking about the safety for personnel, which is generally difficult to assess.
In the future, such work will be fully automated. 5th generation networks, combined with machine learning and artificial intelligence, will be able to manage the survey and identify defects themselves. This is just the case when a person’s workplace can be given to a robot with a clear conscience.
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