Drone-based inspection system for industrial confined spaces

ScoutDI offer a fully digitized drone-based system for safe inspection of industrial confined spaces. Our technology allows you to safely survey and inspect non-entry assets with full coverage, quick turnaround and at low cost.

The combined offering of the Scout 137 Drone System and the Scout Portal enables you to:

  • carry out your visual inspection in a safe, timely and cost-effective manner
  • inspect closed-off spaces non-entry or with limited human entry
  • with unlimited flight time
  • and a robust data network providing cloud portal access

Scout 137 Drone System

Our inspection system is based around a robust quadcopter drone. The drone can easily climb to heights and gather video inspection footage from unlit spaces where human access will be unsafe, time-consuming and expensive.

The drone is tethered to a ground station the size of a small suitcase. This unit is part of the system and provides unlimited flight time and network connection to the drone throughout the inspection.

By connecting the ground station to local Wi-Fi or plugging in a 4G modem, the system can be connected directly to the internet. This enables features beyond the traditional scenario where the operator makes all important decisions on-site and inspection data is archived on memory cards.

Click here to read more about the drone system.

Confined industrial spaces and drone autonomy

The system is especially designed to operate indoors in GPS-denied locations. Its ideal environments are industrial confined spaces and non-entry locations where it is hazardous or not desirable to deploy personnel.

An onboard Lidar handles the positioning that allows the drone to navigate in confined spaces. Further, custom on-board algorithms provide autonomy in terms of position stability and robust anti-collision functionality. This maintains the safety of personnel and equipment while keeping the operator in control of operation.

Read more about Scout 137 drone autonomy here and watch a video illustrating Scout 137 obstacle detection.

Read more and watch a video demonstrating position stability here.

Close-up of active Lidar

Situational awareness and non-entry inspection

The on-board Lidar also provides the spatial data needed to render a 3D map of the environment that the drone flies in. This 3D map is displayed on the operator’s Scout tablet, together with the live camera footage from the drone’s 4K camera. The 3D map can be zoomed d, panned and rotated to see the situation from any angle.

This provides a situational awareness that allows the operator to understand the space that the drone flies in, as well as the drone’s position and orientation inside it. He/she can even operate the drone beyond line-of-sight, not entering the inspection target, and still have a good overview of everything that’s happening inside.

Without this added visual support, the operator would have to rely on the on-board camera to navigate the drone inside the inspection target. It would not be possible to see what’s behind or next to the drone, nor assess how far the drone is from the nearest obstacle. Knowing that many inspection targets are structurally very repetitive, confusing situations could easily occur where inspection coverage and equipment integrity might be at risk.

The situational awareness enabled by our Scout 137 Drone Inspection System is an indispensable aid to the operator during flight. Together with the stability and anti-collision features of the drone, flying and operating the system becomes easier. It allows more focus on the inspection job itself. In turn, more personnel are eligible for the inspection job and training becomes easier.

The Scout Portal: Live remote participation and inspection replay

Our value chain does not end with the drone storing 4K camera footage on a memory card. The drone is a very advanced piece of equipment, but its first and foremost function is to provide data. One intended use of the Lidar-data from the drone is for real-time support to the operator on-site. But as all video footage is location-tagged using the same Lidar-data, all inspection findings are easily backtracked to the exact position and bearing of the drone at the moment the find was marked. This makes it also useful for a post-inspection situation: You can very easily find the anomaly afterwards.

The drone’s ground station is fitted with a LAN connector to connect local Wi-Fi, a 4G modem or even satellite-based internet. When the drone system is connected to the internet, all inspection data is also forwarded to the Scout Portal live during inspection. The benefits of the Scout Portal include:

  • remote live participation with live camera footage and 3D point cloud
  • infinite inspection replays for further consideration
  • archiving and post-processing of data
  • integration via API

This is where our inspection system extends the data value chain all the way to your office desk or control room – or even, directly into your asset integrity system via our API.

Click here to read more about the Scout Portal.

computer graphics illustrating 3D point cloud

Scout 137 Drone System

An integrated tethered drone system with unique capabilities for unlimited flight time, lidar based indoor navigation and real-time position tagging of inspection data.

Scout Portal

A cloud-based service for live-streaming, visualization, analysis, and sharing of your position-tagged visual inspection data.