Italian startup Archon, winner of the second INCENSE competition to encourage the development of clean technologies, uses rover-drones to monitor and check on industrial plants, guaranteeing video surveillance of the perimeter and interior of the company’s solar plants.
The collaboration, which is part of the open innovation approach launched by Enel, redefines the role of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) on an industrial level. The drones are now capable of collecting and analysing images 24 hours a day, but also of signalling faults or problems without having to expose staff to any risks.
The vehicle is managed by a single web platform called Archon Sentinel, which uses a 3D map and an artificial intelligence system in order to coordinate the flight of different drones in service at the same time. Traditional problems of long range performance and recharging have also been resolved: recharging takes place thanks to a connecting station, which the drones return to automatically to guarantee their constant operation without interruption until the work is complete.
When the battery level of a plane begins to fall, the Archon software communicates to the drone to return to base in order to recharge, launching a new drone in order to complete the operations taking place, if necessary. There is no human intervention. The level of risk is minimal for reconnaissance: control activities are optimized with a single command point.
“Start-ups like Archon Technologies in Modena,” explains Ernesto Ciorra, Head of Innovation and Sustainability at Enel, “are important for us because they are quick to create their own projects, they know how to adapt them to the requirements of our company but they do not renounce their dream of changing the world.”