A robotics company that believes it can cut the cost of maintaining wind turbines has secured £1.6m in its latest funding round.
Perceptual Robotics uses autonomous drones to map turbines before passing the images onto a cloud-based artificial intelligence system which processes them to detect damage.
The company’s founders believe their technology is two thirds cheaper than existing methods of detection and can reduce the total cost of wind turbine blade maintenance by up to 30 per cent.
Kostas Karachalios, CEO of Perceptual Robotics, said the funding will allow the company to hire staff, mature its technology and drive the scale of sales and marketing activities following successful programmes across Europe.
“Perceptual Robotics started with a simple aim: to use the very latest technology to reduce the costs associated with green energy,” he said in a statement. “We hope that with this money we will attract exceptional people to join our offices in Bristol and Athens.”
The global wind energy market could be worth $127.2billion (£92billion) by 2027, more than double its value in 2019, according to a recent industry forecast.
Perceptual Robotics says its technology is more reliable, efficient and cost effective than current methods, which mostly rely on rope access specialists abseiling down the turbines in search of damage.
Along with the widespread implications for the wind power industry, they believe the technology could be expanded to reduce costs in other industries.
The £1.6m funding round was led by TSP Ventures, a venture capitalist firm focussing on environmental technologies.
Chris Smith, CEO at TSP Ventures, said: “[Perceptual Robotics’] mission, to reduce costs and improve efficiencies in the wind turbine inspection market is helping the whole of the wind industry become more efficient and cost effective.
“At TSP, we love enabling technologies that can help accelerate the transition to renewable energy and a cleaner future for our planet. We look forward to supporting Kostas and the rest of the team as they scale operations internationally.”