The Story of Innovair – Robotic Systems, Inspection & Surveying Specialists
Back in 2015, we were three engineers busy with thriving roles in other companies. Our careers to-date had generated a wealth of experience in surveying, inspections, robotics and drones. This is where the story of Innovair began, an idea to bring together our backgrounds to develop drone technology and change what was possible with drones.
Filling a Gap in the Industry
We had a passion for entrepreneurship and ambitions of creating a global business, but, the first couple of years were about finding our feet. We all had full-time responsibilities elsewhere. That meant we were working evenings and weekends to help establish Innovair. Our assumption that there was a clear market opportunity for Innovair to provide drone survey & inspections was being validated in several industry sectors. There were awards of small projects but we were finding it difficult to make the transition to it being a full-time sustainable business.
A real turning point for us was joining the Elevator Accelerator Program in Aberdeen during 2017. The program pushed us to re-evaluate all the things we had learned during our Innovair journey so far and understand what we as a team could offer to the industry. We entered the program as a drone service company, but we came out as Survey, Inspection and Robotics solutions provider. This shift meets a real customer need to drive down inefficiencies and risk in a range of inspection or survey applications.
This was a significant pivot. Since 2017, the ‘air’ in Innovair has not just been about drones, but about Advanced Industrial Robotics, and everything that entails.
We now pride ourselves on providing the right tools, to the right customer for their specific job. This could be drones, it could be robotics, it could be existing technology, or it could be a bespoke system tailored to their challenge. The common thread is the customer need for better safety and efficiency. Often, this means more innovative solutions for surveys and inspections. That's where we come in, with our clients tapping into our expertise to complete these works in the most challenging of environments.
Solutions Built for Today’s Inspection and Surveying Challenges
In the last 3 years, we have set our foundations. We transitioned to operating Innovair full-time in late 2018 and now serve several industries e.g. Construction, Utilities, Land and Water, Rail, and Renewables. We invest a large percentage of our funding and efforts into R&D so that we are always innovating for tomorrow’s challenges. We are always improving our methodologies and currently developing new technology to further support complex industries such as offshore Wind and Oil & Gas, for instance.
Think about an offshore wind company who are continuously striving to make inspections more cost-effective and efficient. They might currently use drones but are looking for ways to improve. Autonomous blade inspection systems offer far more efficient inspections, with consistent results and more turbines being inspected per day.
This kind of problem-solving is what excites us. It's what spurs us to create the next robotic solution and we always welcome the opportunity to speak with existing and new clients to discuss the challenges they face on their assets.
We are proud of the R&D works we have undertaken to date and delighted to have the support of the industry to do this. In particular, we received recent SMART funding that we are earmarking for developing an autonomous inspection & maintenance drone. The drone will handle some of the challenges that we've mentioned and have applications across many industries.
The Future for Innovair
At Innovair, we have an ambitious team working towards common goals. Addressing our clients' inspection and survey challenges are a part of our day-to-day working life. We aim to provide autonomy, safety and low costs to our clients. And we pair this with innovation, advanced technology and our experienced personnel. We consider what’s new, as well as what’s proven, whether that’s mobile mapping, crawlers, laser scanning, drones, or robotics, to deliver the most appropriate solutions.
Over the next few months, we'll be supporting an ever-changing industry landscape. We’re scheduling meetings via online channels due to the current situation with COVID-19. Our recent investment in survey and inspection equipment sees us moving into new facilities soon. With an extra engineer joining the team in April, you'll soon see us hiring new staff and launching our new R&D products to make inspection and surveying safer and more efficient.
If you have a challenge that we can solve through Advanced Industrial Robotics, we'd love to hear from you.