ScoutDI and Biodrone demonstrate safe and easy drone inspection of wastewater treatment plant as part of EU-funded INOWATT project

Fri, August 27, 2021


ScoutDI develops, designs and manufactures specialized drone systems and supporting cloud-based data analysis services for inspection of indoor industrial assets in e.g. industrial, maritime, oil & gas and agricultural sectors.

Normally, such inspections require extensive scaffolding, ropes and ladders, climber teams and sometimes even rafts, in order to reach all areas in need of inspection. The HSE aspect is crucial and therefore, inspection is tedious, time-consuming and expensive.

The ScoutDI drone inspection system enables simpler and faster inspections without the need for expert drone pilots. Therefore, it is poised to revolutionize inspection of indoor assets. The ScoutDI drone system is equipped with an onboard LiDAR able to create a 3D map of the facility, while also accurately calculating the drone’s position at any time. This can be monitored in real-time via the cloud-based Scout Portal. All inspection data is tagged with location data in the 3D model, for easy re-assessment of findings in need of further attention.

Løsberga Wastewater Treatment plant is built inside a mountain hall in Steinkjer, Norway. It cleans wastewater from central Steinkjer and surrounding areas before releasing it into the fjord. The capacity is about 24500 person equivalents. Corrosive gases make structures and assets inside the plant particularly exposed to corrosion, cracks, and rapid degradation. It is therefore important to perform frequent and regular inspection. Areas of particular concern are e.g. ceiling bolts and metal structures securing the ventilation system.

Normally, handheld cameras are used to document areas of interest within the facility. In addition to general problems securing close-up camera footage from such a facility, the absence of GPS coverage inside the mountain hall makes position metadata unavailable. Knowing where a particular photo was taken, becomes an issue.


The localization and mapping functionality of the Scout drone system eliminates this issue and provides position and orientation data for all the footage from the drone’s camera. The tethering system enables unlimited flight time and a high-speed data transfer back to the Ground Unit.

When an internet connection is available, inspection data can be transferred to the cloud-based Scout Portal. Via the Scout Portal, asset stakeholders can watch the inspection in real-time to support the on-premise inspection pilot. They can also go back to review footage from specific positions inside the structure, by clicking in the inspection timeline or on any point in the 3D map built by the drone.

"With the 3D LiDAR, obstacle avoidance and tethered solution, this system is a great solution for all the problems that come with indoor inspection with drones when GPS data is not available and there is a need to verify the position of findings", says Atilla Haugen, CEO of Biodrone and project partner in INOWATT.

Through research and development carried out in the INOWATT project, the Scout Drone System was enhanced with a number of features, such as:

  • Enhanced collision prevention that utilizes the 3D LiDAR to create a “virtual bubble” around the drone and prevents it from colliding with obstacles.
  • A “slide-along-wall” function, allowing the drone to easily follow a surface at a set distance.
  • A “close-up mode”, allowing the drone to go very close to inspection targets in a collision-safe way to capture footage with high level of detail.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 824990 RIMA – Robotics for inspection and maintenance.


About the project partners

ScoutDI is a technology provider that develops specialized drones and associated cloud-based data analysis services for internal inspection of ships, tanks and other indoor structures. The company was established in late 2017 and has its origins in the technical cybernetics department at NTNU. In recent years, the company has established several projects with support from the Research Council of Norway, Innovation Norway and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program.

BioDrone is a RO3 certified drone service provider specialized in inspection and mapping. The company consists of personnel with decades of experience in drone operations and is the largest drone service provider in the agricultural and forestry segment in Norway.
BioDrone is involved in several projects with the major research facilities in Norway and is the first and only operator of spraying drones in Scandinavia.


See the link below for photos associated with the press release: EsOCfjt8o RxOkoFd2Dzcu2EBD_mD_9r1elRQpxtAtMQi_A?e=frijAH