Drone manufacturer Skydio says its technology partner Qii.AI has won a contract to conduct automated ship inspections and detect corrosion for the Royal Canadian Navy. While the Qii.AI platform will provide AI-based data analytics, the visual data gathering part of the Navy’s ship inspection program will be carried out using Skydio drones.
Qii.AI is a Toronto-based software company that uses computer vision and machine learning to detect and quantify issues such as corrosion, cracking, and delamination in steel and concrete infrastructure assets. It recently joined forces with Skydio to make the Skydio 3D Scan drone mapping software more efficient for remote digital inspections.
Last year, the duo demonstrated their collective power to the Canadian Department of National Defense, wherein Skydio drones captured data from two naval ships and created their digital twins using 3D Scan software. These models were then imported into the Qii system for auto-detection, classification, and quantification of visible corrosion, using Skydio Cloud API.
Based on the results from that demo, Canada’s Naval Engineering Test Establishment (NETE) has now entered into a license and AI customization agreement with Qii to allow ship inspections to be completed in a fraction of the time taken by traditional methods.
Qii.AI CEO Michael H. Cohen points out there is potential for the technology to be applied broadly across military and non-military shipping assets. He says, “We’re very confident that once we have shown the efficiency and accuracy that we can add to Canada’s naval inspection program, other branches of the military and partner militaries will take notice.”
Skydio cofounder and CEO, Adam Bry, adds:
Autonomous drones will revolutionize naval inspections by creating comprehensive digital copies of vessels. Skydio 3D Scan automates the capture process, and partnering with Qii.AI enables an end-to-end AI-driven workflow to help operators make better decisions faster. We are excited to help build this program for the Royal Canadian Navy, and are looking forward to more success in this sector.
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