Meet the Mini LineFly: the robot that protects birds from power lines

mini linefly

A recurring problem is birds colliding with overhead power lines , which are imperceptible to them and results in serious (or fatal) injuries, as well as damage to infrastructure.

To address this challenge, one option is to bury such power lines underground, although this measure can be expensive and complex to implement in certain areas. Another alternative is to use bird diverters, small devices that connect to these lines to make them more visible to birds.

Under that context, FulcrumAir and Preformed Line Products (PLP) have collaborated to introduce an automated robotic system designed to install helical-shaped bird diverters on overhead power lines.

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How the Mini LineFly works

The Mini LineFly is presented as the world’s most advanced automated robotic system , capable of automatically and accurately installing PLP’s bird flight diverters on overhead power lines. These diverters are crucial instruments to safeguard birds found in proximity to these lines.

Using the Mini LineFly for the application of diverters emerges as an astute solution that can not only optimize time and reduce the risk of injury for workers who would otherwise have to perform this task manually, but also promises to significantly increase productivity. project efficiency.


The Mini LineFly not only offers the most efficient method of installing bird diverters but, more importantly, contributes to improving the safety environment for utility workers around the world ,” said Ryan Ruhlman, president of PLP.

This automated robotic system precisely performs the installation of the PLP Bird Flight Diverter at predefined intervals for the purpose of safeguarding wildlife from potential accidental contact with power lines.

A drone lowers the self-propelled robot to a specific section of power line, moving along that section and stopping periodically to apply diverters from a built-in supply. Propellers on both sides of the robot help prevent oscillations when there are strong winds on the line.

To move to the next section, the Mini LineFly can be lifted by an E2500 HP coaxial rotor drone, simplifying the process and requiring only two ground operators: one for the drone and one for the robot. This innovative device not only increases power line visibility, but also reduces the possibility of accidental collisions with birds , providing protection to various species and avoiding costly power interruptions.

Likewise, PLP bird flight diverters were first implemented robotically at the High Banks Wind Project in Kansas. During this project, nearly 15,000 bird diverters were installed along a 345 kV transmission line with a length of approximately 120.7 km. The High Banks Wind Project, focused on renewable energy, supplies approximately 600 MW of power to customers in the Midwest region of the United States.

We are very satisfied with the performance of the Mini LineFly during this demanding project.“said Patrick Arnell, president and CEO of FulcrumAir in the press release.”Our mission is to develop and operate equipment that helps electric utilities with current industry challenges, including staffing shortages, the increased need for safer job sites, and overall project efficiency requirements.“.

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Video: PLP

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