Category Archives: Power Grid News

Microgrid Project featured

NASLab’s latest video on Autonomous Mobile Microgrids has been featured on IEEE Spectrum’s Video Friday, a weekly roundup of robotics videos, on February 17th!

“When power is lost due to natural or man-made disasters, it is a top priority to get the power network restored as quickly as possible. But if the existing infrastructure is destroyed, what do you do? These autonomous ground robots can be deployed to establish a mobile microgrid.”




Matt Roush of the Engineering Society of Detroit visited NAS Lab as part of his Tech Tour: 

Mahmoudian’s Nonlinear and Autonomous Systems Laboratory was established in 2011, when she got to Michigan Tech. It’s researching the use of robots for novel applications, such as restoring power to areas devastated by natural disasters. “We’re seeking solutions for the effective use of robots in complex environments like disaster relief, where it’s not easy to predict what’s going to happen,” she said. “We’re developing robots and software to bring down costs, increase endurance and increase efficiency.”

Included are unique underwater gliders that don’t have propellers. Instead, they’re propelled by water — tiny battery-power motors pull water in and push it out, and the “wings” on the glider make it rise and fall as it’s pushed through the water. The lab has received funds from the Office of Naval Research to develop a fleet of the underwater gliders for a variety of applications.

And it’s working on a fleet of land-based robots to help deploy a microgrid for cell towers or a field hospital after a disaster. Mahmoudian is also involved in Michigan Tech’s summer programs for middle school and high school students, who build simple gliders and test them in the lab.

Full Story:

Powerbots restore power after disasters

Nonlinear and Autonomous Systems Lab has been featured in a few new articles:

“We want to have a robot that can universally serve different loads,” Mahmoudian said. …Mahmoudian also envisions more robots working together to deliver power.  “I’m thinking we ought to have 10 robots working together,” she said.  That would allow the system to accommodate different types of equipment needing power at different voltages.  “Having small robots, we are limited in the size of the power source they can carry,” she said.  “You might have robots that are extending the connection, and we can use robots connected to each other to deliver higher voltage.”