The Edge

Watch these drones string power lines along poles high above the ground

Drones string power lines on poles high above the ground

SkySkopes, an unmanned aircraft operator based in North Dakota, has devised a new way to string power lines using drones.

Their multi-step process uses an unmanned drone to pull a lightweight rope. This initial lead line pulls a heavier metal cable, and finally the cable pulls the much heavier power lines.

Typically, large power lines are strung using helicopters or workers climbing the towers. However, these methods can be quite dangerous. In April 2018, two workers stringing power lines in Northeastern Pennsylvania died when their helicopter crashed.

Drones do not present the same risks to people nor costs that helicopters do. SkySkopes estimates that the initial cost savings is about 25%.

The company is still researching ways to bring this method to a larger scale.