Meet the "SkySweeper."
Nick Morozovsky's above invention, the SkySweeper, has at least two brilliant benefits: The acrobatic robot can shimmy down cables and power lines, inspecting them for damage and beaming data back to utility workers, at considerably less cost than your average unmanned helicopter. And in the process, the colorful little guy promises to make the maddening state of power outages a bit more entertaining.
Morozovsky, a graduate student in mechanical engineering at UC San Diego, has developed the robot with off-the-shelf electronics and 3D-printed parts, all of which could be scaled up for municipal use at something close to $1,000 a pop. That's significantly cheaper than the tools and robots utilities current use to inspect overhead infrastructure.