Percepto has announced a strategic investment of $45 million in funding to, it says, launch a transformative solution for remote, fully autonomous, asset monitoring, inspection and compliance of industrial sites.
The financing, led by Koch Disruptive Technologies, with contributions from new investors State of Mind Ventures, Atento Capital, Summit Peak Investments and Delek-US, plus existing investors U.S. Venture Partners, Spider Capital and Arkin Holdings, brings the total investment in the company to $72.5 million.
Percepto’s Autonomous Inspection & Monitoring (AIM) platform sets a new standard for how critical infrastructure and assets are monitored, end-to-end, paving the way for the remote operations centre of the future, according to the company.
“Operating a fleet of third-party robots alongside their autonomous Sparrow drone, Percepto AIM provides visual data management and analysis to report trends and anomalies and to alert of risks,” it said. “Any member of staff can request data and Percepto AIM will deploy the most suitable robot independently without human accompaniment to retrieve and stream the required data. The platform also seamlessly reports to assess risk, minimise downtime, drive efficiency and reduce operational costs without human intervention.”
Dor Abuhasira, CEO and Co-Founder Percepto, said: “Our customers, which include some of the world’s leading utility, oil and gas sites, mining and other critical infrastructure facilities, are eager to fully embrace automation across their operations and reap the benefits of driving efficiency, reducing costs and safeguarding staff. We’re excited to be the first to empower our customers with truly autonomous inspection and monitoring, driven by the management of multiple visual robotic data sources, together with other visual sources including piloted drones, CCTV and mobile cameras, on site or remotely.”
Percepto has integrated Spot, an agile mobile robot developed by Boston Dynamics, with AIM for the robot to automate inspection rounds completely, controlled remotely via the platform (see photo). Spot carries Percepto’s payloads for high resolution imaging and thermal vision to detect issues including hot spots on machines or electrical conductors, water and steam leaks around plants and equipment with degraded performance, with the data relayed via AIM.
Michael Perry, VP of Business Development at Boston Dynamics, said: “Combining Percepto’s Sparrow drone with Spot creates a unique solution for remote inspection. This partnership demonstrates the value of harnessing robotic collaborations and the insurmountable benefits to worker safety and cost savings that robotics can bring to industries that involve hazardous or remote work.”
ICL Dead Sea, a leading global speciality potash, mineral and chemicals company, has been operating Percepto’s drone-in-a-box solution to carry out inspection, safety and security missions at its operations at the Dead Sea site, and was the first to fly beyond the visual line of sight in Israel, according to Percepto.
Shay Hen, ICL Dead Sea Drone Program Manager, said: “With Percepto’s AIM, we can now live stream all of our missions and no longer have to be physically present on site to control decisions regarding maintenance and operations. Wherever we are, we know exactly what is happening on site.
“We are looking forward to examining the integration of additional robots, such as Boston Dynamics’ Spot, onto our site for holistic inspection capabilities beyond aerial inspection.”