Drone technology has rapidly become an integral part of the power grid maintenance infrastructure. Indeed, the market for wind turbines and power grids inspection drone software is estimated to be worth $5 billion annually. As drone technologies evolve towards greater autonomy, with longer ranges and smarter navigation there are opportunities to improve efficiency, reliability, productivity and ultimately move closer towards a self-maintaining grid infrastructure. For this reason, innogy New Ventures LLC has participated in a $2 million funding round in Sterblue.
Sterblue, which was founded in 2016 in France by three aerospace engineers and Airbus alumni: Geoffrey Vancassel, CEO - Nicolas Draber, COO - Vincent Lecrubier, CTO, builds software that helps drones inspect power lines and wind turbines automatically. The software guides drones along trajectories that wrap tightly around structures, finds anomalies from the collected images and outputs reports. The whole process is automated and triggered at the click of a button using off-the-shelf drones, doubling productivity as compared to manual solutions, while improving reliability.
As data acquisition costs drop drastically, driven by automation, data on assets will be captured more frequently, affording more insights on assets with predictive maintenance and access anytime, anywhere to assess the status of each and every infrastructure. Sterblue builds tools that make this future possible, with a strategy focusing on specific markets, providing actual business-specific products and value, instead of just raw data.