Rigitech lands perfect offshore delivery method

Working with their partners in Denmark, delivery drone manufacturer Rigi Technologies think they have arrived at a novel way of delivering small packages at offshore sites.

Well; it is not exactly new; we mean – there can only be so many ways of last centimetre deliveries of packages by drone, can there not?

It is just like that report by McKinsey said – you there drop the package; dock with it; tether it down; or ease it down to the ground via parachute.

Rigitech’s method is to drop the package – only they think they can now do it with style.

Prior to this, Rigitech’s drones would need to land on the ground to complete delivery.

Along with a statement proclaiming what it calls “an advanced precision dropping system prototype that revolutionises the precision and efficiency of deliveries, eliminating the need for landing and take-off”, the Swiss aerial logistics company also released a short video showing its flagship drone, the Eiger, dropping a package in what looks like a plastic container. 

In the video, the drone hovers over a marked area at one of the offshore wind farms belonging to energy company Ørsted, before dropping the package and having it bouncing around the landing zone.

“The lack of necessary parts during turbine repairs can become costly, as it requires the service vessel to return to shore and back out, resulting in a significant time delay and consuming more than 500 litres of diesel fuel,” read the statement released by the company.

“RigiTech’s Eiger mounted with the dropping system can deliver spare parts to Anholt’s 111 offshore wind turbines within 30 minutes, ensuring same-day repair, enhanced safety for on-site technicians, and guaranteeing minimal turbine downtime.”

In these trials, Rigitech worked with their transport and logistics partner DSV, as well as autonomous systems operator Holo, who oversaw the beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) side of the flights.

“Seamlessly integrating drone delivery into existing workflows is possible thanks to RigiCloud and the Eiger’s fully autonomous nature – local warehouse staff load the spare parts onto the drone, while the Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations are supervised remotely by Holo in Copenhagen, hundreds of kilometres away.

“Network-based video streaming from the Eiger provides live monitoring of each delivery, to both Holo and Ørsted warehouse staff.”

As of today, the project has seen RigiTech and Holo complete a total of 40 flights offshore, with multiple autonomous payload drops on top of the 95metre-high wind turbine located 30km offshore, with a reported 100 percent success rate despite challenging wind conditions. 

“This project started with a simple customer challenge: how do we get parts directly to a technician inside a wind turbine?” says Adam Klaptocz, CEO of RigiTech. 

“The solution was nothing but simple, and pushed us to develop multiple cutting-edge technologies, including AI-based flight planning algorithms, precision navigation in high-wind environments, computer vision and sensor fusion algorithms. The results speak for themselves; spare parts delivered with centimetre-level precision, fully autonomously, every time and available today.”

Rigitech reckons its novel tweak to the drop system for transporting essential small parts represents the company’s commitment to offer a commercially viable and environmentally friendly product that industrial sites and wind farms anywhere can deploy today. 

“A result of an innovative research and development project, the new cutting-edge dropping system prototype was designed as an optional add-on to the acclaimed Eiger platform,” the company said.

“Thanks to the Eiger’s impressive precision target capability, this new mechanism ensures that items are delivered accurately to their intended destinations, streamlining operations and saving valuable time. The prototype addon is equipped with an automated connector that is remotely and automatically activated by RigiCloud to release the pod once its destination is reached.


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