Robot repairs wind turbine
Image credit: BladeBUG
A prototype inspection and repair robot, dubbed the BladeBUG, has successfully scaled an offshore wind turbine blade in real-world conditions for the first time.
The six-legged robot climbed 50 metres vertically up a turbine blade at the Levenmouth offshore wind farm in Fife using vacuum-padded feet.
ORE Catapult operational performance director Chris Hill said: “This is an incredibly significant technology that we know is being keenly watched by the industry as a potential gamechanger.
“It has a clear potential for cutting costs, reducing human offshore deployment and increasing blade lifetimes.”
Hill added, “I consider BladeBUG’s first walk at Levenmouth as offshore wind’s ‘moonwalk’ – a historic milestone in the industry’s evolution. Robotics are here to stay, and they will be an essential ingredient to operating ever-expanding wind farms, deeper-water sites and faster, bigger turbines in the coming years.”