On-site autonomous drone system developer Percepto has made announcements on May 21, 2018, that Enel, a multinational power company and a leading integrated player in the global gas, power, and renewables markets, has finished deploying Percepto’s Sparrow drone system for use at its Torrevaldaliga Nord power plant in Italy. Maintenance and operation activities at the site will be supported by this multipurpose drone platform.
Sparrow will take autonomous flights at Enel’s power plant, supervised by an operator who can control the device any time since, at present, the regulatory framework of Italy prohibits completely automated drone flight.
The drone is powered by AI technology and computer vision and carries a permanent dual payload of day- and night-vision (thermal) cameras that allow non-stop operations, such as gathering aerial video, snapshots, and data that can be sent to Enel personnel in real time. During autonomous flights, Sparrow performs inspection missions in the absence of any human intervention.
The drone-in-a-box solution offered by Percepto enables aerial missions to be easily conducted, thereby increasing flight frequency and the probability of early detection of an anomaly. Upon detecting an anomaly, an alert is sent out by the drone in real time, detailing the problem type and reporting its location. The current analysis and data collection offered by Sparrow allows preventative maintenance, eventually reducing the operational costs and enhancing the productivity of the site.
While drones are touted as the technology of the future, the ability to act autonomously unlocks their true potential, enabling them to act as a responsible, independent and smart ‘team member’ that provides not only a bird’s-eye view of facilities, but real, actionable insights. We’re proud to be working with Enel and look forward to many years of cooperation with a company that excels in terms of generation of safe, low-cost, and environmentally-conscious energy.
Dor Abuhasira, CEO of Percepto
Sparrow is located on-site at Enel’s Torrevaldaliga Nord power plant and is lodged in a self-contained base unit from where it autonomously takes off and lands. The Percepto Base houses the drone, charges it, sends data, and performs “health checks” on it when it is idle. The system has been developed to endure drastic climatic conditions, such as dust, snow, and heavy rain, enabling it to function throughout the year.