BladeBUG is a hexapod crawler robot that slowly makes its way along enormous (as long as a football field) wind turbine blades cleaning, maintaining and inspecting.
As the offshore wind industry enters a rapid phase of growth, the challenges to keeping turbines spinning and optimised grow with it.
At BladeBUG we are developing advanced robots to assist technicians in the inspection and repair of turbine blades, without the need for rope access.
BladeBUG’s Crawler robot can be operated out of the line of sight meaning technicians can remotely perform maintenance tasks without the associated cost and without being exposed to harsh conditions.
The speed of deployment and ease of use means O&M teams can treat defects before it would be viable to use a traditional rope access team. This preventative maintenance increases the efficiency of the turbine and maximises the low carbon energy generated.
Fans of science fiction legend Arthur C. Clarke recall the helpful maintenance robots from his 1972 novel Rendezvous With Rama:
There were the "window cleaners," with large padded feet, who were apparently polishing their way the whole length of Rama's six artificial suns. Their enormous shadows, cast right across the diameter of the world, sometimes caused temporary eclipses on the far side.
(Read more about cleaner robots)