Industrial Networks introduces rail automation drone

February 29, 2016  - By

Photo: Industrial Networks

Industrial Networks (INet) applied for exemption to Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act in late 2015 for the railcar inspection and inventory market space and began testing a new drone Automated Equipment Identification (AEI) reader, the Industrial Networks Rail Automation Drone (IRAD1), for railyard automation.

The plan requires safety testing and FAA approvals, but will give rail shippers a greater amount of flexibility in railyards, INet said in a Feb. 24 news release. The IRAD1 will be capable of fully autonomous scanning of the railyard for inventory and inspection of a railcar.

An elaborate collision detection and avoidance system is built into the drone to help avoid objects in the flight path and reinforce safety, the company says. That system gives the IRAD1 the ability to be a completely autonomous AEI scanner, which will lead to faster data collection and help the business reduce workforce requirements, INet said.

INet’s current collection of AEI-scanning tools includes stationary and handheld readers, and automates data collection in the field.

“Advancement in drone technology has allowed Industrial Networks to explore what we feel is the future of rail automation,” said Jimmy Finster, president of Industrial Networks. “We are continuously researching new and innovative ways to help our customers improve their operations and streamline their daily processes.”

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1 Comment on "Industrial Networks introduces rail automation drone"

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  1. William K. says:

    Why does a drone owned and operated by a company that owns the property where the drone will be used need to comply with all of the regulations. Rail-yards are very private property as any railroad security person will explain to you if you approach them from outside the perimeter.
    This system should indeed speed the process and result in better operation as well.