Across the industry, traditional inspection and maintenance operations faced high costs, safety risks and were time consuming for companies to conduct. These activities often included the use of helicopters to inspect high-pressure pipelines or highly labour-intensive work which tends to require operatives climbing tall structures to inspect an asset.
Innovation-based companies such as ULC Robotics (ULC) are assisting in the adoption of drone technology by deploying in-house designed and built UAV to carry out aerial inspection services and UAV-related innovation projects.
For successful and efficient UAV operations, an innovative mindset is required to identify the current and future uses of applications as well as understanding how to implement the technology into a company’s business-as-usual operations. Working with clients across the industry, ULC’s strategic approach helps to accommodate specific requirements and improve efficiency.
With the experience of delivering successful robotic services in the UK, including the Cast Iron Joint Sealing Robot (CISBOT), ULC’s UK team works collaboratively with their US counterparts to disseminate knowledge and solutions that are applicable across global markets. US industries have been offered an innovative approach from ULC’s pilots in overcoming the typical challenges associated with inspection and maintenance activities. This has involved working with clients to develop and integrate machine learning solutions in UAVs, as well as being one of the first companies to deploy UAV’s for US offshore wind inspections.
From the initial discussion with a client, ULC’s team seeks to understand the exact problem that needs to be solved from the operations. Using ULC Technologies’ R&D capabilities, the in-house engineers and sensor scientists work closely with the client to identify a solution where they are provided with meaningful flight data. Together, ULC and the client can find and build unique solutions through custom-built platforms, software and UAVs that best suits their needs to receive actionable insights.
Bringing almost 20 years of robotics-as-a-service expertise, award-winning innovations across the company, and highly experienced UAV pilots, ULC has witnessed the benefits UAV’s can provide for commercial operations. ULC’s custom-built aircraft provide safer UAV inspections around utility facilities and offer longer flights, delivering additional insight for the client. Using AI and machine learning, UAV technology can also capture smaller and more precise details, which are often unnoticed when using conventional methods of inspection and maintenance.
With the recent approval from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), ULC will take flight in the UK in 2021, commercially deploying UAV technology to assist across the utility and industrial sector utilising a pool of experienced UK pilots.