Drones slowly but surely finding their way into commercial applications throughout the electrical market. EW’s editors had heard about electric utilities using drones to inspect transmission lines, but we hadn’t gotten the chance yet to research this application.
We recently received information from Sharper Shape, a Finnish company with several locations in the United States about their drone-based Automatic Detailed Inspection (ADI) service, which according to a company press release has successfully completed field trials and is now available for immediate commercial use by electric utilities.
“Our new ADI service really minimizes the effort required to capture all the data needed to completely analyze the health of a utility system and to target the problem areas,” said Paul Frey, Sharper Shape’s VP of sales in the release. “UAS field crews can get a lot more done each day, with much more predictable and repeatable results.”
Even though Sharper Shape’s ADI service is initially being targeted for use in the electric transmission and distribution markets, the company is working on introducing the applications into a much wider range of industrial inspection applications. Says Ilkka Hiidenheimo, Sharper Shape’s CEO, “There really is no reason our automatic flight operations and inspection software can’t be equally effective when working on cell phone towers, wind turbines, or many other critical industrial assets.”