February 20, 2024

Buzz Solutions and Skydio Partner to Reinvent Utility Asset Management

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Skydio x Buzz solutions for asset management
Skydio X10 inspecting a substation

The global unmanned aircraft system (UAS) market has grown steadily over the past several years and is poised to continue its upward trajectory. It is conservatively estimated to reach a market value of USD 48.17 billion by 2030. UAS use cases run the gamut from same-day delivery to entertainment, and one such use case is transforming how utilities protect and maintain their electricity transmission and distribution.

In pursuit of a more sustainable and resilient utility infrastructure, Buzz and Skydio are partnering to bring a Transmission, Distribution and Substation asset inspection solution to the table. Combining Buzz Solutions’ leading utility asset computer vision inspection technology, PowerAI with Skydio’s U.S.-manufactured fleet of industry-leading autonomous drones and the Skydio Extend API, allows utility practitioners to leverage a fully automated asset management inspection process. The tools work together using the unique asset IDs from existing utility IT/OT systems to create a safer, future-proof grid.

Cloud Based AI Image-processing

Utilities, to date, have been limited by their ability to process visual asset data quickly and determine the priority of repairs. In a decade when grid innovation is paramount for the future of the country's electrical system, efficiency is everything and utilities do not have the advantage of time. Together Buzz and Skydio are making it possible for utility engineers to expedite making decisions that affect the health of the grid in a major way.

Navigating Utility Asset Management

Navigating the complex terrain of utility asset management is no small feat, but by employing both technologies, utilities are more efficient and better protected against potentially damaging asset failures. Using autonomous flight technology and hardware provided by Skydio, customers can efficiently and safely inspect utility infrastructure, utilizing the unique asset IDs from crucial systems like GIS, Asset Management, and DMS/EMS utilities have already heavily invested in.

Buzz Solutions' PowerAI Cloud Solution takes the helm in streamlining image download from Skydio Cloud and processing. The result is a straightforward integration into existing utility systems, providing asset detections and condition assessments with severity, linked to the original utility asset ID enabling automation of Work Orders. Within minutes, the processed data is available to utilities through various standard formats and APIs.

ESRI map
Image captured by Skydio drone, processed by Buzz Solutions PowerAI, update made to Esri Web Map

Pragmatic Severity Assessment and Work Order Prioritization

PowerAI steps up not just in detection but in delivering a practical severity assessment and prioritized work orders. For utilities leveraging Esri GIS, the partnership extends to updating Web Maps directly with inspection results, ensuring a discernible impact on day-to-day operations.

Tangible Business Benefits for Utilities include:

● Operational Efficiency: Automated processes save time, allowing utilities to focus on core operations and delivering reliable services.

● Cost-Effective Integration: The turnkey solution provides a practical means for utilities to integrate drones, AI, and software seamlessly without breaking the bank.

● Simplicity in Action: Utilities receive actionable insights and processed outputs, steering away from raw data and providing clear directions for maintenance.

● Supporting Grid Modernization: The technologies support utilities in their Grid Modernization initiatives, ensuring a steady and realistic progression in the face of industry advancements.

Looking Ahead to Practical Innovation

Buzz Solutions and Skydio are answering the call for a better way to process and act on utility infrastructure data. The power of the two solutions in tandem paints a clear picture of the most immediate need and allows utilities to respond effectively. To learn more about Buzz and Skydio, go to Buzz Solutions and Skydio.

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