The world’s first autonomous drone-in-a-box system has taken off to carry out round-the-clock operations at a power plant facility.
Enel, an Italian multinational manufacturer and distributor of electricity and gas, has completed deployment of Percepto’s Sparrow drone system for use at its Torrevaldaliga Nord power plant in Italy. The multipurpose drone platform will support operation and maintenance activities at the site.
The Sparrow will fly in automated mode under the supervision of an operator who can take control of the device at any moment as Italy’s regulatory framework does not currently allow fully-autonomous drone flight.
The drone carries a permanent dual payload of day and night-vision cameras, enabling around-the-clock operations, including the collection of aerial video, snapshots and data that can be transmitted to Enel personnel in real-time.
“While drones are touted as the technology of the future, the ability to act autonomously unlocks their true potential, enabling them to act as a responsible, independent and smart ‘team member’ that provides not only a bird’s-eye view of facilities, but real, actionable insights,” said Dor Abuhasira, CEO of Percepto.
“We’re proud to be working with Enel and look forward to many years of cooperation with a company that excels in terms of generation of safe, low-cost, and environmentally-conscious energy.”
Sparrow is stationed on-site at Enel’s Torrevaldaliga Nord power plant and is housed in a self-contained base unit from where it launches and lands autonomously.