When the electrical conduits around you begin to flicker, get out of the way or you'll be in for a shock! — US instruction manual, Sonic the Hedgehog CD
Electrical conduits are obstacles that appear in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. They are round structures that generate electricity between each other at certain intervals.
Electrical conduits appear as round, mine-like orbs connected to each other via electric poles, almost resembling atoms. They can be attached either diagonally, horizontally, or vertically, and at random intervals, most of the poles in one of these three directions will light up and then flash with electricity. Though the player can stand in front of the poles when they begin to light up, touching them at any point when generating electricity will cause them to take damage, unless they have a Thunder Shield. In some cases, the orbs can be destroyed revealing a round, lumpy black sphere on the inside. The colors of the casing depends on the Zone/Time Period.
Sonic the Hedgehog CD
In Sonic the Hedgehog CD, electrical conduits primarily appear in Wacky Workbench, with their poles flashing color that lights up the background when generating electricity. The player is unable to destroy the orbs holding the poles together, though they can stand in front of them to avoid taking damage. In the Good Future, the electrical conduits are completely deactivated.
In Sonic Mania and its expansion Sonic Mania Plus, electrical conduits return in Act 2 of Flying Battery Zone. This time, they are controlled by Madmoles who are sitting in a cockpit controlling the conduits. The player is able to destroy the orbs with a Spin Jump, causing any poles they are connected to no longer generate any electricity. They can also destroy the cockpit the Madmole is sitting in to stop the conduits in a chain from activating altogether, though the orbs can still be destroyed.