Facebook robot deploys fibre optic cables through power lines

In a bid to advance internet connectivity around the globe, Facebook Connectivity has developed a robot that moves along power lines to deploy fibre cables, wrapping them along medium voltage power lines.

The robot, called Bombyx, is designed to be agile, clearing obstacles and flipping over where necessary as it moves along the power cables.

One robot can install over a kilometre of fibre over the space of an hour and a half period, passing obstacles autonomously.

Karthik Yogeeswaran, wireless systems engineer, Facebook Engineering, said: “While there have been tremendous improvements in the strength and size of a fibre strand, as well as the amount of data a strand can carry, there has not yet been a widely applicable solution for reducing the cost of fibre construction. Since the cost of deploying fibre comes almost entirely from construction, this was the area we wanted to address. If successful, we believe this technology will allow fibre to effectively and sustainably be deployed within a few hundred meters of much of the world’s population. We expect to see technology trials of this fibre deployment system next year.

“We aim for this technology to enable equal construction of fibre in rural and lower-income communities as well as affluent ones, with open access to the fibre, fair and equitable pricing, decreasing prices for capacity as traffic grows, and shared benefits of the fibre network with the electric company.”

Article Categories

Most Viewed