Manual visual inspection of industrial assets is costly, time-consuming, and exposes human operators to the risk of injury. Norwegian startup Scout Drone Inspection (ScoutDI) has developed what it claims is a superior alternative.
The drone inspection company has developed Scout 137, a complete drone system for inspection of confined spaces and indoor industrial assets that eliminates the need for scaffolding or climbing.
The Scout 137, with a crash-proof cage around the propellers, is equipped with a 4K video camera and a 10,000-lumen light array that helps it see in low-light conditions. It uses LiDAR for mapping and obstacle avoidance inside the tank, as GPS-reception is not available in the enclosed space. The LiDAR continuously creates a 3D map of the environment, and all the images and video are accurately geotagged with position data so that you always know exactly where in the 3D model they were captured.
The inspection drone can also be tethered for longer flight times and improved safety, as well as provides a reliable, high bandwidth data link. It is controlled via a tablet with the Scout Ground Control app, which also provides the live video stream, controls the camera as well as the powerful onboard illumination, and registers findings.
The inspections can be followed remotely and in real-time via the cloud-based inspection portal.
The drone system has been used for inspections with Equinor, DNV, Aker BP, and Altera Infrastructure, among others, and the company has recently started delivering the first systems to customers. Among the first customers is a large ship inspection company based in Singapore. The video below shows the successful inspection of an FPSO cargo tank for Altera Infra with Scout 137 drone.
ScoutDI has secured 27.5 krone ($3.2) million in funding, lead by Equinor Ventures and DNV, to further develop its drones and related technologies.