Drones Help Utilities to Inspect Infrastructure

Sterblue builds software that guides drones along trajectories that wrap tightly around structures, finds anomalies from the collected images and outputs reports.

Not long ago, linemen had to either climb infrastructure or utilities had to rely upon helicopters or bucket trucks to conduct inspections. Today, they can rely on drones to record photos and videos to pinpoint issues. 

For example, Sterblue builds software that guides drones along trajectories that wrap tightly around structures, finds anomalies from the collected images, and outputs reports. The whole process is automated and triggered by the click of a button, using off-the-shelf drones.

Here are the six steps of the process:

1. Utilities provide geometrical information about their asset (which usually can be found in their LIDAR information). 

2, The drone pilot selects the infrastructure he or she wants to inspect and clicks on "generate flight plans." 

3. Once on site, the pilot clicks the “fly” button, and the automatic flight path starts managing the flight itself and every sensor parameters. Productivity is double compared to current drone inspection solution.

4. The pilot then uploads every captured image on the Sterblue Cloud platform.

5. Job experts, who are supported by artificial intelligence algorithms, analyze every image to find potential defects. 98% accuracy rate can be reached with the artificial algorithm, according to Sterblue. 

6. Status reports are automatically generated to monitor assets. 

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