Researchers Explore Drone Recharging Using Powerlines

The paper introduces a fully autonomous drone system designed for prolonged operations near powerlines. Equipped with advanced perception and navigation systems, the drone autonomously locates and lands on powerlines using a passive gripping mechanism. A control circuit regulates magnetic fields within a current transformer to secure the drone and recharge its batteries during landing.

The system’s performance was evaluated in an active outdoor environment, demonstrating multiple hours of uninterrupted operation through cycles of flying, landing, recharging, and takeoff. The study highlights the system’s potential for sustained inspection missions and outlines future improvements, including enhancing robustness, expanding mission complexity, and testing in diverse weather conditions.