A New Solution For Confined Space Inspection – The Elios
The challenges of confined space inspection are many. The high cost of an operation, extended downtime of assets, hazardous atmospheres or lack of oxygen, contingency plans in case of an incident, not to mention all the pre-inspection necessities, HSE implementations and erection of scaffolding all lead to a complex task that has traditionally meant it is only carried out when regulations deem it necessary.
Happily, this is all set to change, thanks to the newest in Unmanned Aerial System (drone) technology, The Elios.
What is the Elios?
Created by Flyability, the Elios was the first drone of its kind to be created for indoor inspections. The need for such a solution was simple: to negate the need for humans to enter areas that are hazardous to life.
In addition, such a tool comes with a plethora of other benefits, the most attractive being its speed of deployment and that it reduces the costs of confined space inspections to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. In short, the Elios saves organisations money, effort, time and, most importantly, lives.
How does it work?
The nature of confined space inspection is not only that of multiple different surfaces, but also angles and areas that are challenging to view adequately. There’s also that of the danger of humans working in such a space, with limited access and egress. The Elios removes all of these aspects, allowing asset inspectors to gain accurate, high quality visual images as if they were actually inside the space.
The drone is protected by a decoupled cage that allows it to bounce and roll on surfaces, and the imaging is provided by a full HD and a FLIR camera, lit by powerful LEDs. This payload can be rotated and inclined as needed, and images and video captured with perfect clarity. The data is transmitted via a rugged system, with the ability to extend with a deployable antenna if needed. The operator can also fly the unit beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS).
As data is collected it can easily be transformed into readable inspection reports thanks to the included advanced software.
Who can use it?
Because the Elios is used within a confined space there are no restrictive regulations as to who can use it. Unlike drones flown outside that require the user to have a professional pilot’s licence, anyone can use the Elios with minimal training to master the controls.
Benefits of the Elios for confined space inspections
Using the Elios leads to a significant increase in the safety of workers. Such a robot minimises or removes the need for humans to enter such hazardous spaces. Along with the very obvious advantage of reducing accidents and fatalities, this also provides the following:
- All areas are accessible for close up inspection, no matter how hard to reach
- Removes the factor of human error in both assessment and data collection
- Speed: A typical confined space inspection can be carried out in a matter of hours
- Downtime of assets is kept to a minimum
- Reduces the need for detailed risk assessments or to implement costly HSE requirements
- No need to erect scaffolding
- Lowered insurance premiums
- Can be quickly deployed in emergency situations or when an incident is reported
- The ability to carry out more regular inspections, and taking any proactive, preventative measures to ensure continuous efficiency in operations
Use of the Elios for the inspection of combined spaces is one that is being successfully integrated into many plants and processes in the oil and gas industry, chemical industry and more. Providing a safer environment for employees, as well as dramatic cost saving, is a welcome solution that many organisations are beginning to embrace.
Perth based, Nexxis, provide a highly skilled service that works with companies to determine if such technology could be advantageous to their business. With a solid background in providing state-of-the-art technical equipment that gives fully flexible solutions to industries across Australia and beyond, the company is becoming the preferred supplier for those who appreciate working with industry experts who determine bespoke propositions for their needs. To discover more about our services, including the hire or purchase of the Elios drone, contact us now.