Waterloo, ON – Aeryon Labs – manufacturer of the Aeryon Scout, a small man-packable flying robotic reconnaissance system – is pleased to announce it has delivered multiple Aeryon Scout UAVs to British Petroleum to aid in BP’s oil spill clean-up efforts.
The Aeryon Scout is a small, lightweight mini-helicopter that is remote-controlled from the ground using a patent-pending map-based touch-screen computer interface. It is able to provide a real-time bird’s-eye view of how oil is moving across the ocean surface. These geo-referenced images can be streamed directly to ground and ocean based clean-up crews, enabling the crews to instantly and accurately direct their resources accordingly.
“It’s extremely gratifying to not only see our technology being used effectively, but to also aid in such important environmental efforts,” said Dave Kroetsch, President of Aeryon Labs. “The Aeryon Scout was designed for all types of applications like this one, where real time aerial intelligence needs to be instantly put into the hands of the personnel on the ground that require aerial intelligence to do their jobs effectively.”
Kroetsch said one of the biggest challenges in any oil clean-up effort is that you cannot see the oil on the ocean surface from ground level, whether you’re on shore or on a boat. Once oil is cleaned up in the immediate area, oil cleaning resources, including skimmer boats and shore-based clean-up crews, simply don’t know where to go next. A real-time aerial view of the surrounding area allows for the clean-up crews to immediately be directed to the next area, eliminating down time and ensuring clean-up efforts are done as quickly as possible.
“The Aeryon Scout’s ability to quickly and easily provide an instant aerial view will dramatically expedite our clean-up efforts. The Scout’s ease of use allows the operator to completely focus on how the oil is moving, ensuring we make full use of all available resources,” said Ed Thompson, Director, BP Crisis Management Unit.
Traditionally, manned helicopters have been used to spot patches of oil on ocean surfaces for clean up. This alternative is not only more expensive and more dangerous, but much less effective as one helicopter needs to cover a wide area and give direction to a large number of land and ocean-based clean-up crews. In this case, a small, unmanned system, such as the Scout, proves to be more cost-effective and efficient at collecting real-time data than full-sized helicopters or airplanes. The Scout excels in short-range, short duration missions, providing ground crews instant access to real-time aerial views whenever required.
The Aeryon Scout also has many built in safety features, such as automated pre-flight checks and intelligent fault handling, which are designed to satisfy regulators’ air worthiness and safety tests. And with a total weight of less than 2 ½ pounds, the Aeryon Scout can be safely and easily deployed in any location without disturbing the surroundings.
Aeryon Labs designed the Scout system to be easy enough for even non-technical people to use with only minimal training. Its on-board computer system supervises all aspects of flight, allowing the operator to focus on completing the task at hand, which in this case is looking for the next batch of oil on the ocean surface.
“We’re excited to see our robotic technology continue to be used in innovative ways. Real time aerial intelligence allows people to get their jobs done in safer and more efficient ways,” said Kroetsch.