Several companies are developing or selling robots to aid in installation or cleaning
In a dusty yard under a blistering August sun, Rover was hard at work, lifting 45-pound solar panels off a stack and installing them, one by one, into a concrete track. A few yards away, Rover’s companion, Spot, moved along a row of panels, washing away months of grit, then squeegeeing them dry.
But despite the heat and monotony — an alternative-energy version of lather-rinse-repeat — neither Rover nor Spot broke a sweat or uttered a complaint. They could have kept at it all day.
That is because they are robots, surprisingly low-tech machines that a start-up company called Alion Energy is betting can automate the installation and maintenance of large-scale solar farms.
Working in near secrecy until recently, the company, based in Richmond, Calif., is ready to use its machines in three projects in the next few months in California, Saudi Arabia and China. If all goes well, executives expect that they can help bring the price of solar electricity into line with that of natural gas by cutting the cost of building and maintaining large solar installations.
In recent years, the solar industry has wrung enormous costs from developing farms, largely through reducing the price of solar panels more than 70 percent since 2008. But with prices about as low as manufacturers say they can go, the industry is turning its attention to finding savings in other areas.
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Robots provide opportunities for restart after coronavirus pandemic, say industry leaderson June 29, 2020 at 6:10 am
Robots provide opportunities for a restart of the economy after the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to industry leaders surveyed by Automatica, one of the largest industrial ...
- Robots are helping at-risk caregivers continue to work with COVID-19 patientson June 25, 2020 at 7:30 pm
At-risk doctors operating robots on wheels are remotely caring for hospitalized patients including those infected with COVID-19. A Maryland doctor explains how it works.
- Autonomous farm robot Burro assists human workers with grape harveston June 24, 2020 at 9:43 am
Burro is an autonomous driving robot that assists farm workers harvesting grapes in California that can augment or replace humans.
- Robots come to rescue of manual scavengers amid Covid fearson June 21, 2020 at 9:50 pm
Yadav, whose previous job was to climb into manholes and sewer lines every day to clean and unclog them himself, now operates a robot that does the dirty work for him. “It is like a blessing ...
- Roborock S6 MaxV Review: smart vacuuming and mopping for a priceon June 19, 2020 at 3:50 am
Roborock’s latest S6 MaxV cleaning helper has all those and more, making it one of the smartest robots to grace your floor and certainly one of the more expensive ones as well. From certain ...
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Go deeper with Bing News on:
Staff of Robots
- Emotional support robot Robin headed to UCLA Mattel Children's hospitalon June 29, 2020 at 9:51 am
In a nine-week study of interactions with hospitalized children, ages 4 to 12, joy increased 26% and stress was reduced by 34%, according to Expper Technologies.
- Badger Technologies Introduces PatrolBot Autonomous Robot for Security Guard Industryon June 29, 2020 at 6:07 am
Badger Technologies®, a product division of Jabil, introduces the Badger PatrolBot™ autonomous robot tailored for the security guard industry. The Pat ...
- Feature: Athens int'l airport recruits robots to inform travelers on COVID-19 measureson June 28, 2020 at 7:50 am
Photo taken on June 26, 2020 shows a Pepper robot at Athens International Airport in Athens, Greece. TO GO WITH: "Feature: Athens int'l airport recruits robots to inform travelers on COVID-19 measures ...
- Coronavirus Has Ushered In the Airport of the Futureon June 28, 2020 at 6:19 am
With new tech like robot janitors, thermal cameras, and health passports at their disposal, the world's flight hubs—and air travel as we know it—will never be the same.
- Athens int'l airport recruits robots to inform travelers on COVID-19 measureson June 27, 2020 at 7:54 pm
Staff members of Athens International Airport place a face mask on a Pepper robot in Athens, Greece, June 26, 2020. (Xinhua/Marios Lolos) Two semi-humanoid robots wearing face masks were greeting ...