Robotic technology, the solution for infrastructure inspection
The main objective of the ICDron Project (Development of robotic technologies to inspect Oil&Gas infrastructures) consists of developing a system to inspect infrastructures in the Oil&Gas sector based on an aircraft piloted by remote control (or RPAS) or drone that can precisely and safely maintain contact at heights as it flies.
How did we do it?
To make this general aim a reality, it is necessary to develop a drone that can precisely and safely maintain contact at heights, develop new inspection procedures using these technologies, trying out the new systems in realistic and relevant surroundings, taking the technological development up to TRL6.
The project is being jointly developed by the companies La Línea Vertical SL, Dronetools SL and Compañía Española de Petróleos SAU, and receives technical collaboration from the Centro Avanzado de Tecnologías Aeroespaciales (FADA CATEC). The project has a global budget of 840,000 € and development commenced in September 2017 and is expected to finish in August 2020.
The project has received financial support from the CDTI and has been co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) via the multi-regional smart growth operational programme.
This technology is vital to enable more advanced inspection techniques to be applied in the future, such as ultrasonic and induced current systems, that use drones. These advanced techniques are necessary in order to get a detailed view of the Oil&Gas infrastructure, and are the only ones that are certified to estimate the state of the piping and other infrastructures, since a mere visual or thermographic inspection is not sufficient (even when advanced image processing algorithms are used).