Facebook has developed an Autonomous robot for winding the fiber on the cables

The engineers at Facebook and the UCL Robotics has developed a robot that can lay fiber optic cables to provide remote and poor regions with high-speed Internet access. The Autonomous robot moves through existing power cables and pulls on them fiber. Unlike similar systems, the robot itself moves through the bearings and does not require human assistance.

Major IT companies such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon not only create websites and services, but also develop ways cheap Internet coverage in regions where the network is either completely unavailable or is slow and unreliable. Interestingly, these companies chose completely different concept in their projects. So, Facebook until 2018 to develop their solar-powered drones (in 2018, the project was closed in favor of a joint development with Airbus), Google is actively testing and implementing commercial stratosphere, acting as towers, and Amazon plans to launch into space thousands of satellites for Internet distribution worldwide.

This is an ambitious technological and economic sides of projects, but they are resource intensive and rely on yet untested, at least in large scale technology. Engineers from Facebook, together with colleagues from UCL Robotics company used a cheaper and faster approach: use an existing worldwide infrastructure of power lines and complement its fiber-optic lines. Such a technology of winding the fiber optic cable already exists from 1980-ies, but is used sparingly because coiling machines can place only one flight of stairs, and through the support of their moves engineer, climb onto it with a crane or ladder.

The new robot uses a three piece design: the Central rotating part of the cable and spooling rod, and two side parts responsible for the movement of the robot. This allows the robot to independently pass through the supports and other obstacles without the help of man: for this it lifts at the front and then the rear motor segment. If the bearing element of the cable is at the bottom, the robot passes over them and to not fall, keeps the balance by using the propellers at the sides. In addition, engineers have created an unusual store design fibre optic: it is made in the form of a horseshoe, and due to this, when rotating, it is not much shifts the overall center of gravity of the robot. One such horseshoe accommodates a cable longer than a kilometer.

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