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Background to conducting technical exploration:

  • Currently, maintenance work of power distribution equipment is carried out by human through visual checking. For efficiency, we consider taking photos/videos of power distribution equipment on both sides of the road while going around the city with a car equipped with a camera then analyze the images later to discover defects.
  • Several issues have come out in the above examination, and we would like to find out technology to solve them.


Guidelines/constraints for the desired solution:

  • Specifications required for products and technologies
  • Technologies to solve problems in discovering defects and damages (e.g. burning due to lightning strikes, cracks, chipping, etc.) of equipment (insulator of discharge clamp: white cylinder-shaped object of about 15 cm in diameter and 30 cm in height) installed on utility poles on both sides of a vehicle with a camera


Currently identified specific issues / area of improvement

  • Improvement of object recognition rate in rainy weather (The rate is low compared with sunny weather)
  • Improvement of object recognition rate in backlight
  • Improvement of recognition rate when the background has similar color to the object (Difficult to recognize the object)
  • Recognition of facilities on both sides of the road (Resolution goes down with wide angle camera.)
  • Recognition rate improvement with running at the high speed (maximum 60 km / h)


Direction of the Search

  • We assume that solutions include devices like cameras and sensors, and image processing techniques after shooting, but the solutions are not limited to either (Combined solutions are fine.).
  • Combination of general-purpose products, ready-made products and camera setting are welcome, if such integrated solution works.
  • We welcome those including suggestions on installation method (e.g. position of camera)
  • Future direction
  • At present, we have limited interest in finding defects/damages on the insulator of discharge clamp, but in the future we would like to apply the same solutions to general electric distribution equipment on the utility poles (i.e. electric wires, flying objects, trees etc.).
  • Other
  • Although solutions are not necessarily required to be available on the market, we would like to evaluate solutions in the very near future with short-term customization work.


Possible solution areas:

Railway / road facility inspection, in-vehicle camera, infrastructure, security etc.

Desired outcome of the solution:

  • We are not looking for image analysis technologies
  • While traveling by car, we must take pictures/videos of power distribution equipment installed at the top of the utility poles that stand at approximately 30 m intervals.

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