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The SmartCopter ZN-2 unmanned remote-controlled helicopter, developed by the Shandong Electric Power Research Institute, is being used to inspect a 220-kilovolt electric power transmission line in Shouguang, in China’s Shandong province. One worker who helps maintain the line says the tool has cut inspection time by more than 90 percent.
Willie Jones is an associate editor at IEEE Spectrum. In addition to editing and planning daily coverage, he manages several of Spectrum's newsletters and contributes regularly to the monthly Big Picture section that appears in the print edition.