One of the world’s first automated inspections by an intelligent drone with deep learning capabilities was demonstrated at the GPU Technology Conference Europe today by Aerialtronics, a Dutch manufacturer of technologically advanced drones, Neurala, a pioneer in deep learning software, and NVIDIA®, the world leader in GPU-accelerated computing.
This new “intelligent drone” identifies objects and their condition in flight, which dramatically increases the efficiency and accuracy of documenting assets, lowering costs, and making it easier for frequent inspections. It adds to the use of commercial drones to help businesses access difficult and dangerous areas, such as cell towers and turbines.
Aerialtronics and Neurala collaborated to make the demonstration on the Altura Zenith UAS, which incorporates the NVIDIA Jetson™ TX1 module. The resulting system can visually inspect a cell tower and recognize the equipment mounted on the mast. This is the first step required to start automating the documentation of assets, and assessing the mechanical functionality and condition of the cell tower to identify rust and other defects..
The real-time processing of the data stream is made possible by combining Aerialtronics unmanned aerial system and their smart dual camera payload with Neurala’s deep learning neural network software, which is capable of finding and recognizing objects in flight, using the NVIDIA Jetson TX1 platform.
“The Jetson platform features high-performance, low-energy computing for deep learning and computer vision, making it ideal for products such as drones,” said Serge Palaric, vice president of EMEAI sales and marketing of embedded and OEM at NVIDIA. “These drones can handle complex or dangerous tasks without risking human life, which is game changing for many industries.”