We are always curious to know how things are made, but we never ask how they are cleaned. Let us tell you that cleaning things is often messier than creating them. Almost every developed country consists of thousands of kilowatt power lines, so, who would get up there to clean them?
If power lines hog up too much dirt, there is a potential danger of power shortages. A Chinese company based in Xiangyang just came up with the craziest of cleaning ideas. They use a drone, that spews flame on the fire lines to clean them up.
The drone used is a heavy-load octocopter, which according to some media outlets could be from the DJI 1000 series. Apparently, the flame thrower is not embedded into the system; rather, it is attached to the underside of the drone. Instead of a cleaning device, the drone fire cleaner seems like a mass destruction weapon from a world war.
The fire cleaning of the power lines can degrade and eventually burn the metal over longer intervals of time. Alternately, the power lines are cleaned by a lineman using a stick and an elevator device. The job of such a cleaning linemen is ranked among the most dangerous in the world. Now and then, a worker dies while cleaning the high voltage lines.
While this is the first time such a drone is used for cleaning high voltage power lines; it was already used for cleaning 25 acres of grass in Nebraska, back in 2015.
Harmless as the word ‘cleaning’ may sound, the capability of drones to be spitting fire is not so much of a safe act. Drones are the new deadly fire-spitting dragons, and we are not far from the time when one of these burns people.
The drones are ultimately a weapon with no intelligence of its own. They can put things on fire or put out these fires depending on their usage. The MIT partnered with Olin College in 2015 to make a drone that could capture aerial images from distant places to make better strategies to put out the fires.
Here is a video of lines being cleaned out by the fire drone: