This super-sized drone has more tricks in store than you might think

YouTube screenshot of the Aerones wind turbine cleaning drone (Aerones/YouTube)

Aerones’ super-sized drone seems to have come a long way since we last saw the lifting of a skydiver high in the air for a jump almost a year ago.

The Latvia-based drone developer has been busy refining the design, and the design of the flying machine with several tools that make it possible for perform a variety of tasks.

These include wind turbine maintenance, where the drone can wash and de-ice the turbine blades with the aid of high pressure hoses. As is currently carried out by humans and takes a lot of time and effort to complete, but Aerones is of the opinion that the drone can revolutionize the process, lowering the costs by improving efficiency.

As you can see in the image below, this is more than just a large drone with a hose connected. Aerones machine contains multiple sensors for precise angle determination, safety features, such as a constant monitoring of the engine and the battery temperature, ultra-HD and thermal cameras to locate hotspots and to aid pilot control, built-in radar technology to avoid obstacles, even when shrouded in mist or smoke, and a number of parachutes in the event that the drone malfunctions, while in the air. In addition, Aerones describes the drone as “rock steady” in strong winds thanks to its unique stabilization system.

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The important hose running between the drone and a water supply from below, which can be delivered on a truck or ship. Power is supplied via a cable connected to a power source of the same truck or ship and makes it possible for the machine to fly for as long as necessary. It also has an internal battery that makes it possible for it to stay airborne for up to 20 minutes.

Depending on the size of the turbine blades and the wind, Aerones says the system to be able to clean or de-ice 30 sheets (10 turbines) in the space of one day.

The machine can also use the cameras to inspect the blades before and after cleaning to identify areas where maintenance may be required. Aerones says a pre-wash inspection flight “gives information about the nature of the dirt on the blade, allowing you to estimate the time for cleaning, any damage, imperfection, tear, or hole in the leaf.”

Meanwhile, a post-wash flight, you can confirm that the purity of the leaf, after washing, and could expose the damage that is still not clear when the knife was dirty.

Aerones is also working on other uses for the drone. These include the cleaning of the outside of tall buildings, fighting fires in the high places, and, with the drone able to lift up to 400 pounds (180 kilograms), carries the man to safety in search and rescue operations in places where the ground vehicles and helicopters can’t reach.

The three-year-old company is continuing with its efforts to attract funding during the development and testing of the technology in a number of countries around the world. The short term plan is to offer drone services to customers instead of selling the system as a kit, but that approach might change as the work progresses.

A growing number of companies, the development of drone platforms focused on the improvement of efficiency in a variety of industries, with a report, Goldman Sachs describes it as “a $ 100 billion business opportunity” in the next five years.

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