eSmart Systems R&D initiatives: Autonomous power line inspections

eSmart Systems innovates continuously with research & development as innovation is a major part of the company's DNA.

In the R&D project Connected Drone 2, we use cutting edge technologies and aim to increase asset insight and reduce the number of power outages. One of the project objectives is autonomous power line inspections.

“Reached the first milestone” 

In August, a team from eSmart Systems was performing tests on software for autonomous power line inspections using off-the-shelf drones. During the test, the software enabled the drone to take off, recognize power lines and poles, and take pictures autonomously using AI.

Senior Project Manager at eSmart Systems, Kathrin Sunde, is pleased with the results. “We have reached the first milestone which was to see if our vision-based AI and control systems could manage to do what it was created for, namely to navigate autonomously along power lines using only RGB camera sensors and perform the instructed line and pole inspections,” said Sunde.

The test performed in August was the first out of many, and Sunde states that there are several steps left before it is ready for operation. “Currently this is an R&D project only, but we have great ambitions with the use of AI and the successful test shows that we are on the right track,” said Sunde. 

About Connected Drone 2 

Connected Drone 2 is a three-year R&D project managed by eSmart Systems. The project involves 22 participating power grid companies and aims to increase asset insight and reduce the number of power outages.