This project aims to support Department of Defense (DoD) sustainment efforts through the use of drones to complete inspection and other critical tasks.

This project was funded in collaboration with the JROBOT Group, a Department of Defense taskforce. In February 2020, the ARM Institute hosted and participated in the Joint Summit: Robotics in Sustainment II (JROBOT) event. The four-day summit brought together experts across government and the armed services to develop and recommend Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) policies for coordinating and expanding the use of industrial robotics in sustainment activities across all military branches. 

As part of the event, the ARM Institute released a Special Call for Technology Projects (ARM-TEC-19-04) focused on supporting Department of Defense sustainment goals. From there, a competitive group of project teams were invited to present their project proposals in-person at the Joint Summit.  

Project

This project  is developing an automatic inspection system that uses multimodality aerial imaging from a swarm of autonomous drones to inspect high-rise structures, like navy ships, that are prone to surface defects.

Objective

Unmanned drone inspection can necessary visibility for hard to access areas of large equipment that may pose safety or health risks. This project aims to deploy an inspection method using drones that will provide fast, safe and flexible access for remote viewing and control in real time with human in the loop for immediate additional inspection decisions (such as viewing of different angles, and expert classification of anomalies) while a fleet of drones is deployed.

Technical Approach

This autonomous solution will leverage a swarm of drones (UxVs) to inspect wind turbine blades (or ship hulls, aircraft wings, etc.) prone to surface defects that can be visualized.

Participants

Siemens (PI), Allem Business Ventures