US energy distribution company uses unmanned aerial vehicles combined with artificial intelligence to make sense of the power grid.
A group of technology and energy companies in the USA are collaborating on the use of AI-based Collaborative Intelligence to dramatically improve inspection processes for over 3000 miles of electric power transmission lines in mid-Western states. The goal is to improve asset information, reduce operational costs, decrease failure rates and extend asset life.
The collaborative intelligence approach enables the energy company to use AI-based analytics to analyse imagery data of transmission assets collected by Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to prioritise transmission line operations, identify defects and update asset information.
Images captured from the camera-equipped drones are fed into the AI-based analytics engine, which is programmed with rules established from the expertise provided by the energy company to automate much of the rules-based decision making. According to the analytics engine provider, this combination of human intelligence and state-of-the-art AI is seen as a key lynchpin approach to move away from existing manual grid inspection practices to a process that uses the optimal combination of humans, AI and aerial images to more efficiently inspect grid systems, reduce failure rates and extend asset life.