A drone in China is making a lot of buzz this week. The drone was working on electric wires, and had some interesting actions. It was tasked to remove any obstructions in the wiring, from garbage to overgrown weeds.
Why is this news-worthy you ask? Because the drone used a flamethrower to do it.
Yes, a real life flamethrower attached to a real life drone. This is definitely not some futuristic horror dystopia where autonomous drones have armed themselves against humanity. This is just a simple worker drone that removes garbage – with a stream of fire.
The electric maintenance company, Xiangyang, used the drone to clear up their power lines. These wires get debris and garbage over the course of the year, and it may create some damage. The quickest and sure-fire way (no pun intended) to get rid of it is, you guessed it, through fire.
It would be a lot safer for the drone, compared to the old ways of human intervention. Workers no longer have to scale high electric wires just to clear debris. Helicopters were sometimes used for this task, but it still provided a risk for the workers driving it. With drones, not only do you get the same coverage of a helicopter, but this time, no worker is at risk. No workplace injuries, no fatalities. Efficiency in cleaning while the workers supervise at a nearby station.
The flying flame machine does kind of look like a horror robot come to life. But have no fear, these drones are there to actually keep human lives from any harm. As for the theatrics, it seems fire is the easiest way to get rid of the debris. Similar drones have tasks related to maintenance. A wind turbine cleaning drone in the colder regions clears ice from the blades. No matter where they are, drones can make a difference. They also make workplaces a safer environment for people in it. With zero workplace injuries and a higher efficiency in work, what’s not to love?