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News 28.04.2023
TOPONE Project: SEGULA Technologies develops an autonomous drone to reduce work-related accidents during underground tunnel inspections

Created by the R&D department of SEGULA Spain's Industry Division, the TOPONE project, which aims to carry out visual inspections of underground power lines using an autonomous drone, thus reducing the risk of accidents for technicians carrying out these missions.

In 2018, nearly 150 workers died accidentally during tunnel inspections in the United States (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). These missions can indeed be very dangerous: low oxygen concentrations, high concentrations of harmful gases, high temperatures, etc. In order to prevent the technical personnel who, carry out these tasks from taking risks, SEGULA Technologies is currently developing a prototype drone that can carry out autonomous checks on power lines within underground galleries.


This drone will be able to record RGB and thermographic videos and collect information on the environmental conditions of the underground galleries using on-board sensors. In this way, visual inspection technicians will be able to carry out their work without having to descend into the galleries, thus avoiding the inherent dangers.


The thermographic camera will be able to detect potentially damaged hot spots on the cables, and the RGB camera will be able to check for faults (breaks or cracks) in the cables that may have overheated.


Engineers from SEGULA Spain’s Industry Division are currently working on identifying the project’s requirements and are beginning to develop the drone’s software in parallel with the creation of the hardware diagram for the prototype.


The TOPONE project is one of 200 research and innovation projects carried out each year by SEGULA Technologies. It is being carried out by the Group’s Spanish teams with the help of CATEC and financed by the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), which is attached to the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.