Drone, Spot the Robot Team Up for Inspections


Drone and Spot the robot.

Percepto, maker of the autonomous Sparrow drone, has integrated its infrastructure-inspection system with Spot, the mobile robot developed by Boston Dynamics that navigates terrain.

Israel-based Percepto’s Autonomous Inspection & Monitoring (AIM) platform operates third-party robots alongside its drones to provide visual data management and analysis to report trends and anomalies. The company announced a $45 million investment by Koch Disruptive Technologies and others to fuel development of the system.

“Our customers, which include some of the world’s leading utility, oil & gas sites, mining and other critical infrastructure facilities, are eager to fully embrace automation across their operations and reap the benefits of driving efficiency, reducing costs and safeguarding staff,” said Dor Abuhasira, CEO and co-founder of Percepto, in a prepared statement. “We’re excited to be the first to empower our customers with truly autonomous inspection and monitoring, driven by the management of multiple visual robotic data sources together with other visual sources including piloted drones, CCTV and mobile cameras, on site or remotely. We’re delighted that our investors have recognized the growing need in the market for autonomous inspection which is in demand now, more than ever.”

Spot carries Percepto’s payloads for high resolution imaging and thermal vision to detect issues including hot spots on machines or electrical conductors, water and steam leaks around plants and equipment with degraded performance, with the data relayed via AIM.

“Combining Percepto’s Sparrow drone with Spot creates a unique solution for remote inspection,” said Michael Perry, VP of business development at Boston Dynamics, in a statement. “This partnership demonstrates the value of harnessing robotic collaborations and the insurmountable benefits to worker safety and cost savings that robotics can bring to industries that involve hazardous or remote work.”

ICL Dead Sea, a global speciality potash, mineral and chemicals company, has been operating Percepto’s solution to carry out inspection, safety, and security missions at its operations at the Dead Sea site, and were the first to fly beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) in Israel.

“With Percepto’s AIM, we can now live stream all of our missions and no longer have to be physically present on site to control decisions regarding maintenance and operations,” said Shay Hen, ICL Dead Sea drone program manager, in a statement. “Wherever we are, we know exactly what is happening on site. We are looking forward to examining the integration of additional robots such as Boston Dynamics’ Spot onto our site for holistic inspection capabilities beyond aerial inspection.”

Source: Percepto