For anyone outside of the energy industry, the term “sock pull” may sound like a companion prank to “short-sheeting” a roommate’s bed, or a warm-up exercise at a slumber party. It describes the high-wire act of stringing lightweight lines known as “socks” over pulleys and stretching the rope to the next tower so that the much heavier power cable can then follow.
This tricky work is a step beyond the inspections that gave companies like SkySkopes of Grand Forks, North Dakota, an entry into the energy industry. CEO Matt Dunlevy and the company’s pilots have been inspecting infrastructure, including gas lines and power lines, for years, measuring snowfall accumulation and vegetation encroachment, sniffing for gas leaks, and collecting images from visible cameras and LIDAR units. In early 2018, they cut their teeth on their first drone sock pull, bellying up to 765-kilovolt towers and managing a long list of risks particular to such a high-energy, obstacle-rich, and dynamic environment.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.