RigiTech and its partners, Danish autonomous systems operator Holo and global transport and logistics company DSV, have achieved yet another remarkable feat in the realm of drone delivery, while collaborating on a transport test aimed at supporting the maintenance of offshore wind farms for energy company Ørsted. Building upon the success of their previous drone delivery testing in 2022 at the Anholt Offshore Wind Farm in Denmark, the Swiss aerial logistics company has now unveiled an advanced precision dropping system prototype that revolutionises the precision and efficiency of deliveries, eliminating the need for landing and takeoff.
The lack of necessary parts during turbine repairs can become costly, as it requires the service vessel to return to shore and back out, resulting in a significant time delay and consuming more than 500 litres of diesel fuel. RigiTech’s Eiger mounted with the dropping system can deliver spare parts to Anholt’s 111 offshore wind turbines within 30 minutes, ensuring same-day repair, enhanced safety for on-site technicians, and guaranteeing minimal turbine downtime.
Seamlessly integrating drone delivery into existing workflows is possible thanks to RigiCloud and the Eiger’s fully autonomous nature – local warehouse staff load the spare parts onto the drone, while the Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations are supervised remotely by Holo in Copenhagen, hundreds of kilometres away. Network-based video streaming from the Eiger provides live monitoring of each delivery, to both Holo and Ørsted warehouse staff.
This fully-electric logistics solution for transporting essential small parts represents RigiTech’s commitment to offer a commercially viable and environmentally friendly product that industrial sites and wind farms anywhere can deploy today.
A result of an innovative research and development project, the new cutting-edge dropping system prototype was designed as an optional add-on to the acclaimed Eiger platform. Thanks to the Eiger’s impressive precision target capability, this new mechanism ensures that items are delivered accurately to their intended destinations, streamlining operations and saving valuable time. The prototype addon is equipped with an automated connector that is remotely and automatically activated by RigiCloud to release the pod once its destination is reached.
Throughout the project, RigiTech and Holo completed a total of 40 flights offshore, with multiple autonomous payload drops on top of the 95 m-high wind turbine located 30 km offshore, with a 100% success rate despite challenging wind conditions.
“This project started with a simple customer challenge: how do we get parts directly to a technician inside a wind turbine?” says Adam Klaptocz, CEO of RigiTech. “The solution was nothing but simple, and pushed us to develop multiple cutting-edge technologies, including AI-based flight planning algorithms, precision navigation in high-wind environments, computer vision and sensor fusion algorithms. The results speak for themselves; spare parts delivered with cm-level precision, fully autonomously, every time. Available today.”
When it comes to product development, RigiTech maintains its network-first approach to scaling drone delivery as a sustainable business model. Facilitated by RigiCloud, their centralised software infrastructure, and its dependable Eiger platform, RigiTech enables reliable remote and compliant communications, flight tracking, and fleet maintenance management, ensuring seamless operations. The successful performance of this new prototype will inspire new exciting potential use cases in the near future, and encourage the implementation of this technology in other industrial sites, as well as healthcare and humanitarian logistics.
RigiTech is a Swiss aerial logistics company founded in 2018 that focuses on creating fully-integrated drone delivery solutions. Its Eiger drone system, manufactured by RigiTech in Switzerland, is designed with a network-first approach: the key to scaling drone delivery into a sustainable business model. The centralised RigiCloud software infrastructure ensures reliable, compliant communications, flight tracking and fleet maintenance management. To support their operating clients in gaining flight permissions faster, RigiTech’s comprehensive offerings also include regulatory documentation and testing, connectivity infrastructure, training and support services, regulatory support, and SORA (Specific Operations Risk Assessment) expertise. RigiTech has secured BVLOS authorisations in Switzerland, Italy, France, Denmark and the Czech Republic, with a focus on healthcare and in-vitro diagnostics markets.