Ann Arbor-based SkySpecs Conducts Automated Robotic Inspection on World’s Largest Offshore Wind Turbine Blades

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Ann Arbor-based SkySpecs, a provider of robotics solutions for the wind energy industry, Wednesday announced a successful automated inspection of the world’s largest offshore wind turbine at Burbo Bank Extension in the Irish Sea. SkySpecs collaborated with Denmark’s Ørsted, a company specializing in developing and building offshore wind farms.

“Providing consistent image quality across the largest turbines offshore is challenging and requires consistency from the drone,” says David-Lee Jones, senior technical project lead at Ørsted. “This was the purpose of our work with SkySpecs. We really wanted to validate that their technology could provide the type of precise and robust inspection capabilities that Ørsted expects. We are pleased to announce that the inspection was a success.”

The data that SkySpecs has collected will be used to evaluate the condition of the 80-meter turbine blades.

SkySpecs’ solution includes fully automated robotic inspections of wind turbine blades that take less than 15 minutes from start to finish; automatic data upload to its software product, Horizon, that classifies images by damage type and severity; and an advanced feature set in Horizon that includes repair planning workflows, analytics dashboards, and insights that enables users to spot trends and project repair costs, and determine ROI.

The inspection was a step for Ørsted to gain confidence that automated technology has the potential to be rolled out on all larger-sized wind turbines. The company has projects under development in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Virginia. It is using its expertise to help build a mature, technologically advanced U.S. offshore wind industry.

“We are pleased that we’ve helped Ørsted move ahead with their goals. As an organization, we are committed to applying robotic solutions to solve challenges faced by the renewable energy,” says Tom Brady, chief technology officer of SkySpecs. “We’re helping owners craft their predictive maintenance strategies with a mountain of blade data and analytics tools that help them understand the health of their fleet.”

SkySpecs delivers automated onshore and offshore inspections to global customers. Its mission is to automate renewable energy operations and maintenance.

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