Aerones raises $9 million to test wind turbines with robots

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An odd side effect of constantly writing articles about robots is getting weird information about jobs you never even thought about. Like, of course, it makes sense that inspecting and cleaning wind turbines is someone’s job, but this thought never crossed my mind. Turns out it’s quite a torturous job, with people hanging high in the air to get a closer look at the blades.

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Aerones, backed by Y Combinator, was founded with the goal of using drones to protect people from danger. The decision made sense at first glance. This is one of the most compelling applications I have seen for such massive industrial devices. However, in 2020 the company changed approachesmoving from drones to robots.

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Image credits: Aerones

A new approach seems to be gaining momentum. Today, a Latvian startup announced a $9 million seed round led by Future Positive Capital and Change Ventures. This is in addition to the $3.6 million pre-seeding already announced. The firm says it is currently working with 9 of the top 10 wind companies, including companies like GE and Siemens Gamesa, having tested about 3,000 turbines in total. It is common in 17 countries, mainly in Europe, North and South America.

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“We are rapidly expanding operations in terms of robots and field service teams,” co-founder and CEO Dainis Kruse said in a press release. “This funding allows us to continue our rapid growth and prepare for a Series A funding round later this year.”

The company says its growth has occurred despite COVID-19, though it’s hard to imagine the pandemic wasn’t the driving force, at least in part. Over the past two years, all kinds of industries have turned to automation. Of course, their approach still requires people. A command is required to remotely launch robots from the ground.

Image credits: Aerones

Once in place, several different robots can perform a variety of tasks in addition to standard inspection, including cleaning, de-icing and coating. Overall, Aerones claims that their technology is capable of doing work 6 times faster and 40% cheaper than human counterparts.

This new round of funding will go towards research and development and the expansion of the company’s commercial offerings.


Credit: techcrunch.com /

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