Venture Capital: Aerones Lands $9M Seed Round For Wind Turbine Inspector Robots
The seed funding will help to scale up Aerones’ robotic wind turbine maintenance and inspection.
Aerones, the Latvian startup that makes wind turbine inspection a snap with its proprietary robots, has raised $9 million in seed funding to further accelerate the global scaling of its robotic wind turbine maintenance and inspection services.
Future Positive Capital led the round alongside existing investor Change Ventures. Other investors included Skype founder Jaan Tallinn (through his vehicle Metaplanet), Vinted co-founder Mantas Mikuckas, Printify CEO James Berdigans, Capitalia, Pace Ventures, and EcoSummit.
Aerones offers robotic wind turbine services out of its hub in Riga, Northern Europe, and employs over 100 professionals.
Aerones robotics for wind turbine maintenance
The company’s robotic wind turbine generator blade maintenance system is an unconventional method of delivering various tools to the blade for inspection, cleaning, and maintenance. It takes only an hour to set up and disassemble the system at the site. The operator sits in a well-equipped van and controls the winch system via joystick inputs similar to a drone.
The robotic system allows the industry to replace the need for humans to dangerously hang on the ropes at high altitudes to perform blade maintenance.
The robot operates up to six times faster, thus reducing the downtime, costs (40% more cost-efficiently than humans), and carbon footprint during the services. Additionally, more efficient methods of services allow for preventive maintenance of the blades, thus prolonging the lifetime of the wind turbines. All this is possible in a broad range of weather conditions and times of the day. As a result, it has been possible for Aerones to service over 3,000 wind turbines in 17 countries globally.
Aerones counts nine of the world’s ten largest wind companies among its clients, including Siemens Gamesa, Enel, GE, and Vestas. Its business has grown more than tenfold in Q1 year-on-year, despite the unfavorable Covid-19 conditions.
“We are constantly developing new robotic solutions to address our customers’ needs and expand our suite of services,” said co-founder and CTO Janis Putrams, “as an example, we recently released an internal inspection robot that crawls and scans inside wind turbine blades and provides digital twin inspection data with unprecedented detail and a cleaning solution that removes dirt and oil from turbine towers and blades very effectively.”
Related Story: AI Helping Manage Wind Farms By Forecasting Wind Conditions
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