Drones to Replace Helicopters for Utility Maintenance
Duke Robotics, a subsidiary of robotics and drone company UAS Drone, has announced a collaboration with Israel Electric Corporation to bring its robotic, drone-enabled system to Israel’s energy sector.
The new system, called the IC Drone, was designed to maintain and clean electric utility insulators and is partially based on the company’s military platform Tikad. The collaboration with the Israeli utility marks Duke Robotics’ first partnership for a civilian application of its technology.
The Israel Electric Corporation is Israel’s largest national electricity utility company, with the IC Drone anticipated to be deployed at sites throughout Israel to undertake remotely operated maintenance jobs. The. Tasks currently rely on helicopter fleets and crane trucks. Duke Robotics’ system expects to offer a more cost-effective and safer alternative to these traditional options.
According to UAS Drone, the IC Drone system will be rolled out commercially next year.
“We believe our high-performance, mission-critical drone technology and know-how have untapped potential in the civilian market,” said Yossef Balucka, CEO of UAS Drone Corp. “IC Drone, for electrical infrastructure maintenance, is the first product that will be released in the civilian market.”
Duke Robotics entered the market in 2014 with its unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) platform Tikad, initially designed for military purposes with the remote monitoring and operation of a sniper drone armed with lightweight firearms.
However, over the years the technology’s applications in a variety of industries has been expanded, with new use cases including delivery and maintenance tasks.