The Self-Climbing Robot for Wind Turbine Maintenance


Meet KoalaLifter, the Self-Climbing Robot

KoalaLifter is an autonomous self-climbing crane system for the maintenance and erection of onshore and offshore wind turbines. It's a breakthrough technology inspired by climbing koalas that uses friction collars to climb the tower instead of a conventional crane.

The system was developed by Spanish company KoalaLifter, which received a €2 million grant from the European Innovation Council. It offers a more efficient and flexible alternative to traditional methods, and has the potential to make wind energy more affordable and reliable.

KoalaLifter climbs in the same manner as a koala; it embraces the wind turbine's tower in the same way that this small mammal climbs trees. Major remedial actions including blade and nacelle component exchanges and turbine erecting can be carried out by KoalaLifter. Using a wave compensation platform, these maintenance and erection versions can also be introduced to the offshore market.

How does KoalaLifter works?

The high degree of adjustability of the collars is one of KoalaLifter's main features. Their interchangeable friction collars allow them to mimic the diameter and shape of the wind turbine tower. With winds of up to 25 meters per second, KoalaLifter may ascend the tower by harnessing its strength, which minimizes the downtime of wind turbines. Throughout the operation, this offers stability, robustness, and safety.

The first portion's expanded collars are tightened first, and as the second section grows in the direction of the nacelle with its expandable collars open, the climbing process begins. The expandable collars on this second part tighten as it reaches its end stroke. At this stage, the first portion's collars are opened, and the second section pulls on the first section. To get to the component that needs to be changed, the apparatus repeats this process until it reaches the tower tip.

The entire apparatus fits into a 40-foot standard skeletal trailer, which is used for transportation. This idea makes it simple to transport KoalaLifter to nations where huge cranes are either extremely expensive or nonexistent.

A remote control with radio frequency control operates it. Every task pertaining to the employees is completed on the ground floor.

Technical Specifications

  • Operational Limit: 25m/s

  • Turbine Downtime Reduction: 70%

  • Workforce Risk: 0%

  • Environmental Impact: 80% reduction in contamination


Up to 20 tons of blades, 30 tons of Nacelle components, and 150 tons of turbine erection are possible.

Large savings

It functions well in strong winds, has an easy-to-install dumping mechanism, and can be moved without a specific authorization. These characteristics present a chance for nations where new wind farm developments are viable.

Fast functioning

Exchange of components takes five to six hours. 17 hours are needed to install a turbine. Compared to the present approaches, the wind turbine shutdown is shorter.

Reduced influence on the environment

Less civil work and tree cutting is required because KoalaLifter can be moved without a clearing space. It is only transported in a standard 40-foot truck; however, up to 40 trucks may be required and used.


The part is always transported with the KoalaLifter apparatus. It is far safer to exchange the parts or install the turbine than it is to use cables.

Small and secure workforce

managed using a 300-meter scope remote control. On the ground level, away from the apparatus, just one technician is required. There is assurance of safety.



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