Concrete-scoping drone debut made in Japan

Sources: Aizawa Concrete Corp., Hokkaido, Japan; CP Staff

Top Flight Technologies Inc., a Boston-based provider of heavy-lift, long range hybrid-electric unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), has entered a strategic partnership with ready mixed and precast producer Aizawa Concrete, which seeks to deploy new robotic technologies to proactively inspect and maintain concrete infrastructure throughout its home country of Japan.

The partners seek to accelerate the operational efficiency of Line-of-Sight and Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight inspection of roads, bridges and other public works. Joint efforts will extend to cultivating new business opportunities around commercial UAVs configured specifically for concrete-based inspections and various types of repair, leveraging both Top Flight’s patented hybrid-electric powered Airborg UAV and 3D Realtime Simulation Environment & Fleet Management System for remote drone deployment. The former can stay airborne for up to two hours, while carrying a load of up to 25 lbs.; the latter is used for UAV pilot training and to build and test autonomous missions in simulation. 

“In addition to solving the challenges of longer-duration flight for flying robots, Top Flight is developing the advanced sensors and technologies that will maximize the effectiveness of our aerial inspection needs, including quality analysis that will save our customers ongoing maintenance costs,” says Aizawa Concrete CEO Yoshihiro Aizawa. 

“[Our] partnership confirms that many industries can develop ‘3-D mobility’ new revenue based quality services and improve operational efficiencies utilizing UAV technology,” adds Top Flight CEO Dr. Long Phan. “This is an excellent example of bringing two entities that have deep knowledge in our respective areas of expertise but will spur new ways of addressing these same needs around the globe.”