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$45m injection will see Spot the robot dog inspecting sites

01 December, 2020

An Israeli specialist in autonomous inspection technologies has secured a $45m investment from US-based Koch Disruptive Technologies (KDT) to launch a “transformative” system for remote, autonomous inspection and monitoring of assets at industrial sites. The company, Percepto, has also reached an agreement with Boston Robotics to integrate its dog-shaped robot Spot with its own drone technology to perform coordinated inspections on the ground and from the air. The KDT injection brings bringing the total invested in the company so far to $72.5m.

Percepto believes that its AIM (autonomous inspection and monitoring) platform will change the way that critical infrastructure and assets are monitored, and pave the way for the remote operations centres of the future. A fleet of third-party robots operating alongside its autonomous Sparrow drones provide visual data to identify trends and anomalies, and to alert of the presence of any risks. The system deploys the most suitable robot automatically, without human intervention, to retrieve and stream the required data. The platform also helps to assess risks, reduce downtime, improve efficiencies and cut operating costs.

“Our customers – which include some of the world’s leading utility, oil and gas sites, mining and other critical infrastructure facilities – are eager to fully embrace automation across their operations,” says Percepto’s CEO and co-founder, Dor Abuhasira. “We’re excited to be the first to empower our customers with truly autonomous inspection and monitoring, driven by the management of multiple visual robotic data sources, together with other visual sources including piloted drones, CCTV and mobile cameras, on site or remotely.”

“We believe Percepto AIM addresses a multi-billion-dollar issue for numerous industries and will change the way manufacturing sites are managed in the IoT, Industry 4.0 era,” adds Koch Disruptive Technologies’ president, Chase Koch. “Percepto’s track record in autonomous technology and data analytics is impressive, and we believe it is uniquely positioned to deliver the remote operations centre of the future.”

Percepto has integrated Boston Dynamics’ Spot mobile robot with AIM to automate inspection rounds under remote control. Spot can carry high-resolution imaging and thermal vision systems to detect issues such as hotspots on machines or electrical conductors, leaks of water or steam, and equipment with degraded performance. The data is relayed via AIM.

“Combining Percepto’s Sparrow drone with Spot creates a unique solution for remote inspection,” says Boston Dynamics’ vice-president of business development, Michael Perry. “This partnership demonstrates the value of harnessing robotic collaborations and the benefits to worker safety and cost savings that robotics can bring to industries that involve hazardous or remote work.”

An Israeli producer of potash, minerals and chemicals, ICL Dead Sea, has been using Percepto’s “drone-in-a-box” technology to carry out inspection, safety and security missions at its site, including flights beyond the visual line-of-sight.

Percepto’s technology coordinates the operation of drones and autonomous robots such as Spot to perform remote inspections of industrial sites

“With Percepto’s AIM, we can now livestream all of our missions and no longer have to be physically present on site to control decisions regarding maintenance and operations,” says the company’s drone programme manager, Shay Hen. “Wherever we are, we know exactly what is happening on site. We are looking forward to examining the integration of additional robots such as Boston Dynamics’ Spot onto our site for holistic inspection capabilities beyond aerial inspection.”

Founded in 2014, Percepto’s customers include Enel, Florida Power and Light and Verizon.

Percepto: Twitter  LinkedIn

Boston DynamicsTwitter  LinkedIn

Koch Disruptive Technologies: LinkedIn

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