Connected Drone Project 2016-2018

How can drones and intelligent software revolutionize the way grid companies conduct power grid inspections?

Connected Drone is an R & D project approved by the Norwegian Research Council and The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE). The goal of the project is to create an efficient and secure system for inspection of power lines using drones. Utilizing Deep Learning to analyze data obtained from sensors mounted on drones, the project seeks to give power grid utilities groundbreaking new insights into the state of their infrastructure. The system will be delivered as an integrated, total solution and is specially adapted to the monitoring and control of power grids. 


The project is managed and led by eSmart Systems in close collaboration with 12 network companies and several technology partners with a total budget of NOK 32 million. The project officially launched in September 2015 and will be finalized in 2018.  


From R & D to commerical results

During the first two phases the Connected Drone project made major innovations in the field of Deep Learning, moved basic research into the cloud and conducted a series of BVLOS operations. Embarking on its third of four phases in June 2017, the project is continuously developing software that, when completed, will become part of the eSmart Systems product portfolio. 

Harvesting from the impressive work done in the project so far, the first commercially available product - Connected Drone and The Intelligent Assistant, which is capable of analyzing massive amounts of image data – had a worldwide launch on June 1st 2017.


Connected Drone Project

"Digitalization of the power sector will challenge established work processes, IT systems and organizations, which means that one has to reconsider most of the established facts of the industry. The Connected Drone project challenges several established structures, not just the practical approach to line managers, but also how data should be structured, processed and how deviations are detected."

Erling Dalberg, CEO Troms Kraft 

Power grid partners:

  • Hafslund Nett
  • Ringeriks-Kraft Nett
  • Skagerak Nett
  • Lyse Elnett
  • Troms Kraft Nett
  • Gudbrandsdal Energi Nett
  • VOKKS Nett
  • Hurum Energiverk
  • Vesteråleskraft NETT
  • Fosen Nett
  • Kragerø Energi
  • Alta Kraftlag

Technology partners:

  • Microsoft
  • Telenor M2M
  • Norut Institute
  • Robot Aviation
  • Bergen Robotics
  • IRIS Group
  • UiO UNIK
  • NTNU Amos
  • Teleplan Globe
  • Eker design
  • Nordic Media Lab

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eSmart Systems is based on more than two decades of successful and extensive international experience at establishing, growing and operating knowledge-based and world-leading IT- and energy-related companies targeting global markets.


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