Bristol-based Perceptual Robotics is launching its most sophisticated product to date with the DOT autonomous drone, designed to undertake in-depth turbine inspections and quickly analyse the data collected. The company incubated its technologies at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, having emerged from the University of Bristol in 2016, and has had DOT in development since its inception and is overjoyed to officially bring it to market. In 2019 the company established a Greek subsidiary in Athens, expanding the team and capacity to deliver for customers across Europe. This was followed by their Madrid office, which opened in February 2022, to provide services closer to its customer bases in Spain and Portugal.

Their new drone system has been designed to collect high-quality data from turbines in less than 20 minutes, whilst offering low operational costs for customers and minimal training for operators. Another key element is DOT’s safety features as the system has been designed to avoid any potential collision with the turbine.

DOT is named after two prominent female engineers: USA’s Dorothy Vaughan, a mathematician and NASA’s first black manager, and Britain’s Dorothy Spicer, the first woman to gain an advanced qualification in aeronautical engineering. The exclusive software product, designed by Perceptual Robotics, allows drones to use laser and camera sensors to understand the environment the device is in, plan its trajectory and efficiently collect the data required from the turbines. 

DOT’s bespoke design allows it to manage the drone’s cameras and automatically control how it takes photographs. It is simple to operate; the software can be linked to a tablet device to set up a turbine inspection and receive data. Crucially, the system reduces the need for skilled operators to undertake inspections, therefore lowering the chance for human error, due to its straightforward set-up process and sophisticated software.

DOT will be officially unveiled for the first time at the Wind Europe event taking place between 5-7 April 2022 in Bilbao, Spain. From their stand at 3-E28, Perceptual Robotics will host demonstrations of the DOT drone system and showcase the straightforward set-up process via a tablet device. The drones will be put through complete simulated missions of turbines inspections, displaying the speed of data collection and the high quality of images gathered.

“We have been working on this innovative product for a number of years – every in-house development until now has been a stepping stone towards DOT. It has been a huge goal for the company to be able to offer this level of system for our customers."

Kostas Karachalios, CEO of Perceptual Robotics, announced the launch of the DOT system

“DOT represents the pinnacle of processing turbine inspection data, combining state-of-the-art data analysis with fast, high-quality imagery and a software system that totally manages the movements and activities of the drone device. We also wanted to make DOT simple and easy for our customers to use ‘off the shelf’, thereby removing dependence on the skills of the operator to determine the quality of the turbine inspection. DOT requires minimal training to use effectively and can integrate into customers’ own servers, all of which lowers the associated operational costs. It is a revolutionary new tool that complements and adds to existing industry services.”

The DOT drone inspection system will be ready for shipping to customers in May following its showcase at Wind Europe. 

Ben Oliver

Ben is our Social Media Manager, he oversees all the content that goes out on our channels, including the latest articles, interviews and events to keep you updated with everything tech in the South West.