Latvia’s Droneplan creates drones for risky industrial inspections
Industrial inspections are a risky job. To inspect overhead power lines, for example, a person usually has to climb up a high tension wire, deal with wind and weather conditions, and on top of that, perform a detailed inspection. Droneplan, a startup based in Latvia, is creating intelligent flight planning software to enable drones to perform autonomous inspection.
Droneplan started as a hobby for founder Viktors Bikovs, who became interested in autonomous flight systems for drones as a student. “I made my master’s thesis about this idea, and then I moved it into the next level and started to commercialize it,” he explains. The company was officially founded in June 2016, and since then the team of 5 has reached a piloting stage and begun doing inspections for initial customers.
Droneplan now consists of a 3-part software: Intelligent flight planning software, comprehensive technology enables companies to plan, create, and analyze all forms of aerial data within an enterprise workflow
After an inspection, of for example, a power line is performed, the data is uploaded into the cloud, and machine learning algorithms help the user generate reports about any issues.
“Traditional inspections take about 3 hours, but in our case we can do a full inspection in around 4 minutes,” says Viktors.
Droneplan also reduces CO2 emissions, as many inspections traditionally must use expensive equipment like helicopters. “In comparison to traditional equipment, we are a green inspection service,” says Viktors.
Droneplan plans to expand into the Norway and Finland, as well as diversify their products with applications especially for wind farms and telecommunication towers. They recently showcased their products in Norway at Oslo Innovation Week, one of the most important startup events in the Nordics.