Developers of autonomous technology to help maintain offshore wind farms have a reason to celebrate—Innovate UK has recently awarded £1.2 million to encourage innovation and development in the field!
The University of Bristol, ASV, VulcanUAV, and Perceptual Robotics will use this funding to combine an autonomous boat, drones, and a computer vision lab to create the ideal system for windfarm maintenance.
The ultimate goal is to develop the system to the point where drones can be sent and collected at these wind farms without requiring any manpower. Without the need for human intervention, this project can help cut costs of wind farm maintenance and make things much safer, encouraging the development of even more wind farms.
The use of wind farms is growing, and according to the consortium, this means that more and more turbines will need to be checked regularly to ensure that the farms are working efficiently.
The consortium says that the use of drones is necessary for acquiring data reliably and regularly, and the drones will also be able to scan the turbines more thoroughly and from many more angles than a person would be able to.
The system under development will hopefully have apps installed to help drones inspect a variety of sites in the future, including dangerous sites like oil rigs and construction sites. They hope that the system will be able to alert wind farm staff if drones pick up any damage or cause for concern.