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Electrician sheds light on his passion

Bringing reliable power to his community helps build up courage and determination to tackle any problems, Yang Feiyue reports.

By Yang Feiyue | China Daily | Updated: 2023-12-02 12:52
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Robotic dog used at the State Grid's Tongxiang operations in Zhejiang province. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Bringing reliable power to his community helps build up courage and determination to tackle any problems, Yang Feiyue reports.

The rhythmic clicks of mechanical footsteps echo through the electricity distribution room in Tongxiang, Jiaxing city of East China's Zhejiang province, in early November.

A white robotic dog emerges once the door opens. It moves back and forth, diligently inspecting every distribution cabinet.

Its eyes are infrared thermometers linked to a high-definition camera, the nose is a 3D navigation laser radar, and its mouth is equipped with obstacle avoidance sensors, says Qian Dong, a senior electrician with the State Grid's Tongxiang operations.

"The dog is capable of omnidirectional movement, like climbing slopes and steps, and can take on live-line inspections, infrared temperature measurements, recording and transmitting of inspection videos, detection of harmful gases and (irregular) equipment operations," Qian says.

The data it sends is analyzed by Qian's team in the control room.

Equipped with technology, such as wireless communication, edge computing and artificial intelligence, the dog can follow predetermined routes and inspect more than 1,200 checkpoints throughout the distribution room.

Compared with more than two hours of manual work it would take a human to cover the electricity maintenance, it takes just one hour for the dog to finish the job, Qian says.

The robot is one of the latest additions to Qian's team and has been a powerful aide to ensure the smooth running of the 2023 World Internet Conference Wuzhen Summit in Wuzhen, Zhejiang, in November.

"We have to be extra careful for big events like this one, and pay special attention to ongoing construction close to power lines that might pose hazards," Qian explains.

The heavy lifting of the mission this year had been transferred to several unmanned aerial vehicles that were developed by Qian's innovation office, which was established in 2011 and has nurtured hundreds of talented youngsters in the industry and encouraged them to deliver innovative tools for the job.

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