Powerful AI-Based Autonomous Drone Solutions For Asset Inspection, ISR & Other Mission Critical Applications

Partnership for Remotely Monitoring & Automating Substation Inspections

Skydio drones and MEPPI’s Power-I platform provide an end-to-end solution enabling utilities to collect and analyze volumes of data with efficiency, consistency and accuracy while being safer By Abi Wylie / 19 Mar 2024
Partnership for Remotely Monitoring & Automating Substation Inspections
Follow UST

Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc. (MEPPI) and Skydio have integrated Power-I with Skydio’s autonomous drone solutions. 

Combining Power-I’s critical infrastructure monitoring system, with the versatility and go-anywhere-any-time capabilities of Skydio drones, this integration aims to deliver the an end-to-end solution that enables the collection and analysis of electric utility substation data with superior efficiency, consistency, accuracy, and safety.

Designed and developed in close collaboration with electric utilities, MEPPI’s Power-I platform combines state-of-the-art computer vision technology with advanced machine learning to collect visual and thermal data from critical infrastructure facilities, systems, and equipment. 

The Power-I platform automatically ingests visual data, detects components using AI created specifically for utility assets, digitizes detected components, creates operational baselines, detects anomalies, and reports on a wide range of events in real-time through customizable alerts. 

Real-world examples include reading gauges and operation counters on transformers and circuit breakers, verifying oil levels and insulator conditions, ensuring ground wires are intact, and detecting thermal hotspots among other capabilities.

The Skydio X10, with its onboard AI and visionary camera systems, elevates the standard for precision and versatility in inspection drone technology. Its autonomy engine, equipped with sophisticated AI, enables X10 to navigate and capture data in the most complex environments, day or night, with efficiency and safety. 

This integration means utilities can now access a broader spectrum of high-quality visual and thermal data, ensuring a more comprehensive analysis of substation assets and components. Skydio X10’s adaptability and advanced sensor packages make it an indispensable tool for utilities aiming to enhance operational reliability and performance while addressing the increasing demands on the electric grid.

Historically, the Power-I solution supported cameras (fixed and pan tilt with both visible and infrared sensors) and state-of-the-art ground-based mobile robots to remotely monitor and autonomously patrol critical infrastructure sites and collect ground truth data. Integration with Skydio’s Drones and Docks now takes autonomous data collection to a whole new height, providing the ability to efficiently capture complete views of substation assets and components whether located on the ground or hundreds of feet in the air.

Skydio and Power-I Integration and Workflow

With streamlined integration between the Power-I platform and Skydio, utilities can fly an ad hoc flight with a Skydio drone, or take advantage of Skydio’s dock solution to execute a scheduled autonomous mission. Upon completion, captured imagery and thermal data upload to Skydio Cloud. 

Power-I then automatically pulls the data from Skydio Cloud, detects components in the imagery, and runs associated skills to transform the detected components visual condition into digital information. 

If any anomalies are identified, Power-I will generate alert cases and send a notification to relevant stakeholders. Data can also be sent to data historians or asset management systems.

Empowered by Power-IQ

Power-I’s innovative Power-IQ engine harnesses over 40 years of MEPPI’s expertise in engineering, supplying, and servicing equipment and turnkey substation solutions to the electric utility industry. 

Leveraging this vast amount of knowledge, along with input from some of MEPPI’s largest electrical utility customers, has empowered the Power-IQ engine to provide excellent substation analytics.

Why now?

Electrification of automobiles, rapid expansion of hyperscale data centers, and deployment of green distributed energy resources (DERs) requires that the power grid expand at an unprecedented rate, and new technologies will be needed to accommodate future electric load demand and electric interconnection. 

Coupled with aging infrastructure at the existing 55,000+ existing substations in the United States, supply chain shortages for parts and replacement equipment, and the forecasted loss of 25 percent of the utility workforce personnel over the next decade, the electric utility industry is facing unprecedented challenges and upcoming headwinds.

Skydio industrial drones and MEPPI’s Power-I platform provide an end-to-end solution that will enable utilities to collect and analyze volumes of data with superior efficiency, consistency and accuracy while being safer than ever before. This means utilities can enjoy peace of mind knowing that they are mitigating the risk of catastrophic failure for high-value assets, lowering O&M costs, and improving employee safety.

Bob Misback, MEPPI’s Vice President of Service, noted; “The unique capabilities of Skydio’s American made drones together with MEPPI’s Power-I analytics will enable utilities to economically collect, digitize, and analyze analog data from older substations to maintain and improve their performance and reliability as the stress on the electric grid increases.”

To learn more, contact Skydio: Visit Website Send Message View Supplier Profile
Posted by Abi Wylie Connect & Contact