3D printing technology has certainly come a long, long way, and there are even 3D printed rifles that take approximately 14 shots before it breaks, not to mention the Liberator 3D printed gun which has been successfully smuggled into the Israeli parliament before. Well, here is yet another benefit of 3D printing – by churning out a robot which is small and agile enough to inspect power lines without involving additional cost – the SkySweeper.
Since most developed countries do tend to have plenty of utility lines all over the place, inspecting them is not a job for the faint-hearted as well as impatient. Thanks to a bunch of engineers from the University of California, San Diego, they have managed to develop the SkySweeper, a 3D-printed V-shaped robot which could cost under $1,000 a pop if manufactured on a large scale basis. It will be able to inch its way along a cable in a manner that is something like that of a caterpillar, where one arm would pull it, and then lock into place, before the next arm does the same action, as depicted in the video above. Does this mean the local municipal council has less work to do? Perhaps, but they will need someone to maintain and inspect those robots instead!