Percepto has confirmed that its on-site autonomous drone has passed level 5 hurricane testing at the Florida International University Wall of Wind.
The box can withstand winds of up to 155mph making it the most rugged AI drone-in-a-box on the market for all weather conditions.
The drone platform is already able to land in high winds and in snow.
Commenting on the development, Michael Dorr, lead pilotnat Florida Power and Light’s drone in a box system, said: “As soon as the storm passes, we can have this up…inspecting our plant and knowing immediately what sort of damage we have so we’re able to get our power back on that much sooner… for a utility to be able to see our infrastructure in areas where we can’t get to safely; to quickly fly over it and understand what our conditions are…the safety of our crews is paramount.”
FPL’s goal is to eventually put a drone-in-a-box at every substation, transmission yard, plant and solar facility, according to Eric Schwartz, manager of the firm’s aerial intelligence response.
He said: “We can fly every single day and use image recognition to be able to identify a potential issue and reduce the number of outages to our customers.”
FPL, one of the biggest energy companies in the United States absorbed $274 million of damage to their infrastructure in 2019 from Hurricane Dorian, leaving 160,000 customers without power.
Percepto’s CEO, Dor Abuahsira, said: “Covid-19 has left critical sites such as power stations bereft of crucial staff, while hospitals and homes have become more vulnerable, isolated and dependent on their utility providers. For our customers, drones ensure minimal downtime despite staff shortages and in the worst weather conditions.”