Engineers at the Italian firm Henesis (Parma, Italy) have developed a software tool to automatically monitor train pantographs.
A pantograph is an apparatus mounted on the roof of an electric train to collect power through contact with an overhead catenary wire. Typically a single wire is used, with the return current running through the track.
The so-called "Pantobot" software can process images acquired from trains crossing remote monitoring stations at full speed.
It allows real-time remote classification of the pantograph model from the images and the recognition of the contact material on the contact bars, such as graphite and copper.
Other software modules in the software perform real time analysis on the state of the pantographs, enabling operators to analyze any excessive wear of the contact bars and geometrical deformations.
In addition to automating the inspection task, the software can also generate alerts to operators, making their task easier and reducing their workload.
More information on the software can be found here.
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-- Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design