Big drone-in-a-box deal for Percepto in Florida
Austin, Texas (US) – Autonomous drone inspections services provider Percepto has announced that its will be deploying its autonomous industrial drones to monitor Florida Power & Light’s (FPL) substations and power distribution grids across the state.
Aside from making Florida Power & Light the first power utility in the state to deploy drone-in-a-box (DIB) technology, the deal represents the largest commercial autonomous drone project in the world.
According to Percepto, it is also the first operation using autonomous drones within an urban setting for infrastructure inspection to ensure quality service to FPL customers.
Serving more than 11 million people in Florida, FPL currently uses Percepto’s Autonomous Inspection and Monitoring (AIM) solution powered by drone technology to perform routine infrastructure inspection and monitoring around its property.
Phase one of the project will see thirteen DIBs introduced to the West Palm Beach area over the coming year. FPL’s long-term plan is to introduce hundreds of Percepto drones to monitor the utility’s distribution substations over approximately the next five years. The drone-in-a-box solution was the first to pass Level 5 hurricane testing at a wind speed of up to 155 mph, making it ideal for minimising incident response times and power outages in Florida.
“We look forward to continuing our long and productive relationship with FPL to help ensure that Florida’s electrical infrastructure is constantly monitored, providing residents with more reliable infrastructure, with power back online faster after outages,” said Percepto Chief Commercial Officer, Ariel Avitan.
“FPL’s visionary approach in adopting the latest drone technology will play a critical role in the electric grid of the future, and Percepto is thrilled its drones will help ensure vital infrastructure reliability to FPL’s customers.”
Percepto has been working with FPL since 2018; the two entities working closely to develop optimised drone monitoring solutions and build consensus and compliance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, which has issued a nationwide waiver for FPL to fly Percepto drones for surveillance and inspection purposes at sites owned and serviced by FPL.
As part of its ongoing work with the FAA, Percepto is a member of the Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) that has recently provided its regulatory recommendations to fully incorporate highly automated BVLOS operations flights in US national airspace.
The drones in operation across Florida will be coordinated on a single platform through Percepto’s Autonomous Inspection and Monitoring (AIM) solution. With Percepto AIM, drones can be operated remotely to ensure they work together in sync, providing maximum coverage at the sites they monitor.
Percepto offers autonomous drone inspection and monitoring solutions to its clients all over the world, in its bid to revolutionise how industrial sites monitor and inspect their critical infrastructure and assets.
Listed in TIME magazine’s 100 Best Inventions of 2021, Percepto’s AIM platform fully automates visual data workflows from capture to insight, leveraging the Percepto Air drone-in-a-box portfolio, alongside other robots and visual sensors. Using advanced machine learning and AI, Percepto AIM provides an end-to-end autonomous inspection and monitoring solution, to assess risk, minimize downtime, drive efficiency, increase safety and reduce operational costs.