Headline July 23, 2018/ " 'DRONES -ROBOTS- DRIVES' "


IN AMERICA - Salad bar robots feed fears of job loss. "SALLY the Salad Robot" is just all set to  serve you. Diners use a touch screen to place their orders-

BUT in Europe the scene is very different and taking on all kinds of magnitudes. Power to the drones then : as utilities place bets on robots.

THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION is working on new Europe wide regulations to govern the use of  civilian drones, including long-distance ones, but has disclosed few details.

A Commission source said the EU executives expected to put forward the rules by the end of the year, with a view to adoption in early 2019. The new regulations should make it simpler for companies that need to operate BVLOS [beyond the visual line of sight] drones to receive clearance, the source said.

"The objective is to speed up the opening of the drone services market," the source added.

Yet without any clear guidance as to how the new rules will look, or will work in practice, many companies have adopted a wait-and-see approach. The situation is mirrored in the United States.

As in Europe, special permits are needed for BVLOS flights, but the aviation regulator, the FAA is looking to simplify and speed the process of winning such waivers, including by automating it. Xcel Energy in April became the first American utility to gain approval for BVLOS flights.

ULC Robotics, which provides technology for the energy sector, said a growing number of US utilities were looking at the technology.

"While only a handful of visual line of sight flights have been granted in the utility space, we believe developments in the long-range flight are going to advance the next two or three years," said business development manager Tom Barracca.

Chain Reaction

It is still early days for the drones in the utility sector, which is known for its slow pace of change. Companies have only started using insight drones over about the past two years.

While their short range limits them to specific tasks, such as inspecting a known problem, utilities say they more efficient than helicopter surveys.

"You are not only saving time but also money," said Sven Bender, key account manager at Innogy, Germany's second-largest energy group by market value, adding that the use of drones in the industry would pick up further in the coming years.

The company's Westnetz grid unit has a handful of in-sight drones, which can stay in the air for as long as 30 minutes, to inspect parts of 182,000 km of power lines in Germany.

France's RTE said it avoids 1,400 days of interruption of high voltage lines each year because it used drones alongside its helicopters.

Out-of-sight droning is set to be the frontier for grid operators with their miles of pipes and pylons to inspect.

Most energy infrastructure players manage assets scattered over large areas, located often in hard-t-reach places like mountains or deserts.

As the industry gradually moves from large conventional power plans to smaller, more fragmented  green energy sources, such as wind turbines and solar panels, it is also increasing the number of  assets and connections that need to be maintained.

With respectful dedication to the Scientists, inventors, Students, Professors and Leaders of the world.  See Ya all "register" on wssciw.blogspot.com - The World Students Society and Twitter - !E-WOW! - the Ecosystem 2011:

"' Outlook - Outsmart "'

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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