The solar industry has seen rapid growth over the past decade, and a major contributing factor has been the surge in solar farms popping up across the globe. A “solar farm,” also known as a photovoltaic power station, typically refers to a massive decentralized solar array meant to supply the electric grid. One of the tasks associated with the construction of a solar farm is wiring of hundreds of solar panels. This is a very costly, mundane, and time consuming task. It is believed that the automation of this task would significantly reduce costs and human errors.
This project is still in its initial stages. The video below demonstrates the proposed process of finding the desired cable and then grasping the connector. This is the first task that needs to be accomplished in order to connect two cables together. In the video you will see the robot gripper sweep past the two cables. Here a sensor is used to detect the location of the cables. Once the cable locations are determined, the robot gripper goes back to the desired cable and then loosely holds the cable while the gripper moves to the connector location. Once the gripper is at the connector it firmly grasps the connector.