Equinor Ventures and the Norweigan company, DNV, join in as owners make a new investment in Scout Drone Inspection (ScoutDI) round of 27.5 million Norwegian kroner or $3.2 million dollars to develop its specialized drones and related technologies further. Equinor Ventures and DNV joined together with existing shareholders, including Investinor and CoFounder, as well as new private investors.
Inspection of ship tanks and similar confined space environments and activities are required regularly to ensure that the ship satisfies safety and quality requirements.
Until recently, asset owners and inspection companies have been dependent on using scaffolding and climbing equipment or filling the tank with water and using rafts to be able to reach all the places that need to be inspected. This obviously means that the inspection is very time-consuming and expensive in using such methods.
In contrast, Scout Drone Inspection (ScoutDI) creates specialized drones and the accompanying software solutions to allow companies to autonomously inspect assets, save time, and remove team members from dangerous environments. This includes associated cloud-based data analysis services for internal industrial inspection of ship tanks and similar confined space environments.
The current drone, Scout 137, is an inspection drone that has a crash-proof cage around the propellers and a LiDAR scanner on top for obstacle avoidance for indoor inspections. This drone can also be tethered for longer flight times and improved safety.
The Scout 137 has a 4k camera that also streams in real-time to accompany cloud-based software. It is equipped with a 10,000-lumen light array that ensures everything in front and a few degrees to the side is lit up to help it see in low-light conditions, The camera links images and videos taken with geo-tags as well.
Lars Klevjer, head of early phase and implementation in Equinor Ventures, shared:
“This is an exciting company with global potential that has solutions that are important to our industry. We have followed the company over time and have great faith in both the technology and the team.”*
The Scout 137 is equipped with advanced laser sensors that can create a 3D map of the surroundings while at the same time estimates the drone’s position in the 3D space. All inspection data is provided with the information of the location in the 3D model so it is easy to understand where the findings are since they need to be followed up through maintenance.
Fortunately, the inspections can be followed remotely and in real-time via the cloud-based inspection portal. The drone system has been used for inspections with Equinor, DNV, Aker BP and Altera Infrastructure, as well as others, and the company has recently started delivery of the first systems to customers and among the first customers is a large ship inspection company based in Singapore.
The drone can be controlled using a ground control app that allows for a live video stream, full control of the camera and lighting system, and key information to take full control of the drone. The Scout Cloud Portal allows inspections to be streamed to the cloud, with a 3D model being created simultaneously, which makes it possible for third parties or executives to be informed of the inspection.
Kaare Helle, Venture Director at DNV, stated:
“DNV wants to be involved in developing solutions to support a ship classification regime that is flexible and of high quality. Scout Drone Inspection is a unique company that is helping to take industrial inspection in a more efficient and safe direction. Together with the new owners, we hope to be able to provide both capital and expertise that can help take the company further.”*
CEO of Scout Drone Inspection, Nicolai Husteli, also stated:
“We are proud to have Equinor Ventures and DNV as owners of the company. With their expertise in regulations and requirements in the industry, as well as international orientation, both are very solid partners for us for the way forward. The fact that 9 existing shareholders and 4 new private investors also choose to invest further in us is a very good sign.”*
The new investment of $3.2 million dollars by Equinor Ventures and the Norweigan company, DNV, in Scout Drone Inspection (ScoutDI) made it possible to develop its drones and related technologies further.