Clobotics partners with GEV Wind Power on AI-based turbine-blade inspections


Clobotics recently announced its global strategic partnership with GEV Wind Power — one of the largest wind O&M companies from Europe, to deliver AI-based autonomous blade inspections to global wind-energy leaders, thriving for full-speed digitalization of the global wind O&M market. This partnership covers all the regions that GEV is already serving, including Europe, Africa, North America, and more. Combining the deep industry expertise, top global network, and advanced AI technologies, Clobotics and GEV are taking the lead to capture the next wave of growth in this multi-billion-dollar market.

Global wind energy market continues to enjoy its double-digit growth for the last 10 years, this in turn creates a multibillion-dollar O&M market that is growing rapidly as more turbine ages. Analysts estimate that the global wind O&M market grew from $2.12 billion in 2006 to $13.74 billion in 2016, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.6 percent. The market is expected to reach $27.4 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 7.7 percent during the forecast period. As Navigant Research reported in 2015, cumulative global revenue for wind turbine UAV sales and inspection services is expected to reach nearly $6 billion by 2024. Further, this did not yet account for the great potentials that autonomous UAV enabled by AI is about to unlock, nor the needs for digital asset lifecycle management.  Thanks to recent technology advancements in artificial intelligence, AI-fueled digital transformation is revolutionizing how the O&M industry operates, and this perhaps will unlock a whole new part of the market that was unknown previously.

“We’ve been looking to add autonomous blade inspection to our range of product offerings but recognized that this requires enterprise-level expertise in AI technologies, which is very hard to come by,” said David Fletcher, managing director of GEV Wind Power. “When we saw Clobotics’ solution live, we were very impressed with the technological advancement compared to the other solutions we had seen.”

Thanks to recent technology advancements in artificial intelligence, AI-fueled digital transformation is revolutionizing how the O&M industry operates. (Courtesy: Clobotics)

“We are confident that Clobotics can deliver to GEV’s high standards of performance and safety on a global scale,” he said. “By integrating our technologies, market presence and industry expertise, the partnership between GEV and Clobotics will jointly create the most advanced wind O&M digital platform that serves clients all around the world. Naturally we are very excited about this opportunity and the tremendous value it will add to our blade maintenance solutions.”

GEV Wind Power, being one of Europe’s most experienced turbine-maintenance companies, has a significant presence around the globe. It has serviced 130 wind farms across 13 countries throughout Europe and 17 wind farms in North America, with more than 3,000 wind turbines repaired. GEV is recognized as a trusted partner by many global top turbine manufacturers such as Siemens Gamesa, GE, and Nordex. Backed by GEV’s extensive global clientele, Clobotics is going to quickly penetrate the three largest wind markets: Europe, US, and China.

“Our confidence of entering the most sophisticated wind markets comes from our strong technical backbone and continuous effort in innovation,” said George Yan, CEO of Clobotics. “We keep pushing the technical boundaries so that our industry customers can focus on what they do best, achieving the next level of productivity and growth. You can think of Clobotics’ solution as L4 autonomous driving in 3D. There is no longer dependency on highly trained human operators, which dramatically reduces the amount of labor involved and turbine down-time.”

Clobotics’ AI-based autonomous drone inspection for turbine blades has attracted a great deal of attention since it launched. Clobotics was named to the CNBC Upstart 100 List in 2018 not only because of its capability to transform the data collection process using autonomous drones, but also its ability for image recognition and data analysis muscle fueled by advanced computer vision and machine learning. In the latest BloombergNEF report on computer vision, Clobotics was also highlighted as an important computer vision solution provider for the industrial sector.