MIL-OSI China: Mountainous Yunnan adopts AI for power facility inspections

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Source: China State Council Information Office 2

China’s southwestern province of Yunnan has deployed artificial intelligence (AI) to carry out most routine inspections at 621 power substations, replacing the need for human interventions.
The AI inspection, powered by cameras, drones and walking robots, is capable of completing a task in less than five minutes, down from the five hours required by human workers, according to the Yunnan branch of the China Southern Power Grid.
A major producer of hydropower and other forms of clean electricity, Yunnan has 1,937 power substations of 35 kilovolts or above, many of which are located in mountainous areas. Access to nearly half of these substations requires travel of more than three hours by road, said Wang Xin, a senior manager of the Yunnan branch.
AI-powered automatic inspections are expected to exempt human workers from lengthy road travels, thereby greatly reducing costs, according to Wang.
The China Southern Power Grid has planned to promote AI inspections to the rest of the substations in the province over the next two years.
China is increasingly turning to robotic technologies to tackle the shortage of technicians in remote mountainous areas. Last year, the mountainous province of Guizhou also started using robots for the inspection of power substations that are susceptible to disruptions by extreme weather conditions. 

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