Drones and iPad Apps May Help in Power Failures

Utility companies are experimenting with iPad apps and aerial robots to help get the lights back on faster after storms by providing information and logistical support.

A storm knocks out electric power? There’s an app for that, and soon there may be a spy drone, too.

Facing more frequent storms that cripple electric distribution systems over big areas, utility companies are drafting iPads and military-style aerial surveillance robots to get the lights back on faster.

Much of their problem in restoring service quickly usually has to do with information and logistics. In the latest wave of power failures, on Thursday night and Friday morning, a line of extreme storms knocked out electricity to thousands in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. In some places, damage was so extensive, and so many roads were blocked, that utilities had not even finished assessing the problem by midday Friday.

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Source: NYT > Science

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