A Canadian based company, SkyX, is the latest entry in the developing market for UAV solutions targeting the oil and gas industry.New
The UAV provider is specifically going after the multi-billion pipeline monitoring market with drones that are capable of recharging themselves and, according to the firm, offer maximum range at a minimum cost.
SkyX made their public announcement today as it prepares to secure its Round A financing. Founded by Didi Horn, SkyX has developed drones to inspect pipelines for damage, as well as for mapping and security surveillance. SkyX’s SkyOne drones are fixed wing that offer Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) capabilities, as well as autonomous flight and recharging. SkyOne can travel at 150km per hour for 70 min and can detect leaks, vandalism, vegetation encroachment and other potential issues.
The oil and gas sector currently relies heavily on road vehicles and manned aircraft (i.e helicopters) to detect any damage or threat. Both methods are more expensive, and less efficient than the SkyX solution. SkyOne allows for 24/7, unlimited data collection, provided in real-time and offers a far wider scope of information for the user.
SkyX is offering their solution on a service-leasing model. SkyOne enables oil and gas companies to access custom data and information without being burdened by any possible maintenance. The company is able to control either an individual UAV or an entire fleet and can monitor events through real-time video.
A key feature of this UAV solution is the ability of the SkyOne to recharge itself in the field. Through proprietary technology, the drone doesn’t need to return to home base to recharge. Instead, it flies to the nearest available xStation, where it recharges in a weather-shielded dome before continuing its mission.
The firm states that pipeline leaks are a massive global concern and statistics suggest that globally, the market spends $37bn a year just in monitoring.
Didi Horn, SkyX Founder and CEO, said: “We have built not only a fantastic, game-changing product for the oil and gas industry, but have also built a fantastic team of experts ready to get it out there. The market is, obviously, of huge global importance. We know that our technology can significantly cut costs and improve efficiency – helping the sector as a whole, along with each and every customer. Our unique solution, which combines both VTOL flight and autonomous remote charging puts us well ahead of the competition. As a result, we are en route for significant expansion, offering an unprecedented opportunity for a strategic investment partner to help us conquer and secure significant market share in an ever-growing industry.”
Frank Schroth is editor in chief of DroneLife, the authoritative source for news and analysis on the drone industry: it’s people, products, trends, and events.