Take the pledge to vote

For a better tommorow#AajSawaroApnaKal
  • I agree to receive emails from News18

  • I promise to vote in this year's elections no matter what the odds are.
  • Please check above checkbox.


Thank you for
taking the pledge

Vote responsibly as each vote counts
and makes a diffrence


Issued in public interest by HDFC Life. HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited (Formerly HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited) (“HDFC Life”). CIN: L65110MH2000PLC128245, IRDAI Reg. No. 101 . The name/letters "HDFC" in the name/logo of the company belongs to Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited ("HDFC Limited") and is used by HDFC Life under an agreement entered into with HDFC Limited. ARN EU/04/19/13618
News18 » Tech
2-min read

GE Starts Testing Drones to Inspect Refineries, Factories

GE is expected to announce the new business, which is focused on the oil and gas, transportation and power sectors, as early as Tuesday at a conference in Berlin, Germany.


Updated:June 13, 2017, 1:09 PM IST
GE Starts Testing Drones to Inspect Refineries, Factories
The logo of General Electric Co. (Image: REUTERS/Daniel Becerril)

General Electric Co has begun testing autonomous drones and robotic "crawlers" to inspect refineries, factories, railroads and other industrial equipment with an eye on capturing a bigger slice of the $40 billion companies around the globe spend annually on inspections.

In trials with customers, aerial drones and robots are able to move around and inside remote or dangerous facilities while photographing corrosion or taking temperature, vibration or gas readings that can be analyzed by computer algorithms and artificial intelligence, Alex Tepper, head of business development at Avitas Systems, a startup GE formed for this business, told Reuters.

GE is expected to announce the new business, which is focused on the oil and gas, transportation and power sectors, as early as Tuesday at a conference in Berlin, Germany.

Also read: Nokia 6, Nokia 5 Specifications and Design in Pictures

GE is not the first to combine artificial intelligence with robots to inspect industrial facilities or processes. IBM Corp said it has been working on systems connected to its Watson artificial intelligence capability for about a year and launched some projects March.

Tests IBM has been conducting include coupling cameras to Watson so they can recognise defects in electronic components zipping through assembly lines in China and Taiwan. Other projects involve acoustic sensors or training Watson-enabled drones to spot frayed power lines on remote electrical towers. IBM and partner ABB Ltd, the Swedish-Swiss conglomerate, are combining visual inspection with ABB robots.

"This is one of the hottest areas within IoT (Internet of Things) manufacturing," said Bret Greenstein, vice president of IBM Watson internet of things. He declined to cite a potential market size.

Watch The Tech And Auto Show: Episode 2


Also read: Spider-Man is Back on PS4 in The Coolest New Avatar

GE said its Avitas business will combine computer analytics and artificial intelligence with its knowledge of the industrial systems it builds and its existing inspection business.

"We know this equipment very well so we can program the robots, regardless of type, to gather the information we need for an inspection," Tepper said.

Companies spend about $40 billion annually inspecting plants and equipment within the oil and gas, transportation and power generation sectors, Tepper said. He expects robots will not replace humans but will extend their reach and lower costs.

Automated crawlers and drones also address shifting demographics. Many inspection engineers are nearing retirement, and few young workers are interested in the field, he said.

Also read: Nokia 6, 5 and 3 to Launch in India Today: All You Should Know

Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox - subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what's happening in the world around you – in real time.

Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro and gain access to curated markets data, trading recommendations, equity analysis, investment ideas, insights from market gurus and much more. Get Moneycontrol PRO for 1 year at price of 3 months. Use code FREEDOM.

| Edited by: Sarthak Dogra
Read full article
Next Story
Next Story

Also Watch


Live TV

Countdown To Elections Results
To Assembly Elections 2018 Results