CEC Will Play a Key Role in the Development of Drone Technology to Prevent Wildfires

Brains4Drones, a small robotics company specializing in developing artificial intelligence (AI) on drones, will work with Central Electric Cooperative to refine real-time visual intelligence sensors for off-the-shelf drones to perform inspections of power lines and vegetation encroachment.

“We are thrilled to partner with Brains4Drones and serve as a resource in their research efforts to enhance drone-based solutions to perform aerial inspections of our electric system more efficiently in high-risk wildfire areas,” said President and CEO Dave Markham.

Brains4Drones research project will focus on adapting drone-based solutions to perform automated line inspections to gather and curate information on potential hazards.

“Their work could, ultimately, translate into having affordable artificial intelligent equipped drones be another tool on the truck to assist line crews in performing inspections and addressing issues in real-time. With a service territory of 5,300 square miles, this technology will help us save time and money,  and more importantly, help protect the members and the communities we serve,” Markham further added.

The federal Department of Energy awarded Brains4Drones funding as Phase III of the Small Business Innovation Research grant program. The announcement marks the company’s third grant, building on the success of the previous two focused on developing the technology to assist the electric sector during or right after catastrophic events.

Brains4Drones also selected Consumer Powers Inc., an electric cooperative based in Philomath in the Willamette Valley, to participate due to its challenging forested terrain and proximity to Central Electric’s service territory.

Brains4Drones will unveil and demonstrate the results of their research efforts sometime, likely in late September.

You may learn more about Brains4Drones at Brains4Drones.