30 Jul 2020

Four Companies Using Drones for Power Asset Inspections Named IDC Innovators

MILAN, July 30, 2020 — International Data Corporation (IDC) today published an IDC Innovators report profiling four companies that use drones to carry out power asset inspections. The four companies are Cyberhawk, Delair, PrecisionHawk, and Sterblue.

Drones, also called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are unmanned aircraft that can be remotely controlled and are semiautonomous or fully autonomous. The profiled companies offer inspection services for power (generation, transmission, and distribution) assets by either deploying commoditized or specifically developed drones. Utilities have the freedom of choosing between data collection via drones, software solutions for data processing, or end-to-end services.

"Deploying unmanned aerial vehicles for asset inspections in the utility sector has proven to be effective and affordable. Both aging infrastructure — such as thermal power plants, grid substations, and poles — and newly built renewables can benefit from better drone hardware and software," said Phevos Skalidis, research manager, IDC Energy Insights. "Scaling operations has often been hampered by the lack of licensed pilots, regulatory obstacles, and missing integration with existing enterprise IT systems."

The report, IDC Innovators: Drones for Power Asset Inspections, 2020 (IDC #US45818920, July 2020), profiles four companies that deploy drones for power asset inspections:

Cyberhawk started as early as 2008, predominantly working for the oil and gas sector, but has since expanded to the adjacent electricity utility vertical.

Delair brings expertise in transmission and distribution inspection, also using its in-house constructed fixed-wing drones.

PrecisionHawk has considerable exposure to investor-owned, U.S. utilities and is one of the few companies in the U.S. to have obtained a BVLOS 107 waiver.

Sterblue successfully participated in the incubation program of Y Combinator, was a finalist at Free Electrons. and recently open-sourced part of its IP.

About IDC Innovators

IDC Innovators reports present a set of vendors — under $100 million in revenue at time of selection — chosen by an IDC analyst within a specific market that offer an innovative new technology, a groundbreaking approach to an existing issue, and/or an interesting new business model. It is not an exhaustive evaluation of all companies in a segment or a comparative ranking of the companies. Vendors in the process of being acquired by a larger company may be included in the report provided the acquisition is not finalized at the time of publication of the report. Vendors funded by venture capital firms may also be included in the report even if the venture capital firm has a financial stake in the vendor's company. IDC INNOVATOR and IDC INNOVATORS are trademarks of International Data Group Inc.

For more information about IDC Innovators research, please contact David Tiberi at dtiberi@idc.com.

About IDC Energy Insights

IDC Energy Insights works with utility providers, oil and gas producers, and mining companies on how to leverage data and technology to improve operational excellence and create new information-based commodities. Its global team of analysts with decades of industry experience advise on how to create holistic digital operational strategies that deliver agile operations and how to harness information for improved decision making and the creation of new value-add services.