Drones and Robotics for Transmission and Distribution Operations

Ground-Based, Line-Suspended, and Aerial Robotics and Applications:
Global Market Analysis and Forecasts

A pivotal transition in the utility landscape is rapidly approaching. The electric grid will no longer simply be a system of power lines and structures. Rather, it will be a data-rich network equipped with autonomous sensors, connected asset management platforms, and a constant flow of critical infrastructure information. Drones and robotics technologies have the potential to revolutionize the way utilities interact with their transmission and distribution (T&D) assets and collect critical data.

Navigant Research has identified three core drivers for change in utility operations: speed, savings, and safety. Robotics technology has the potential to deliver significant gains in all three of these areas, primarily via three classes: ground-based, line-suspended, and aerial (drones and unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs). Despite the potential benefits, however, current regulatory and technological barriers have suppressed market penetration for robotics in utility operations. As pilot programs continue to drive regulatory change and emerging technologies advance, Navigant Research forecasts exponential growth in the hardware, software, and services segments of the drones and robotics for transmission and distribution (DRTD) market. According to Navigant Research, the total market for all DRTD segments is expected to reach $13.2 billion by 2026.

This Navigant Research report analyzes the drivers, barriers, and regional and global trends affecting the deployment of robotics technology in electric T&D operations. The study outlines the financial, reliability, and efficiency market drivers for robotics technology while highlighting the technical and regulatory challenges that suppress its short-term penetration. Global market forecasts for DRTD revenue, broken out by technology and application segment and region, extend through 2026. The report also examines the key technologies related to robotics in utility operations, as well as the competitive landscape.

Key Questions Addressed:
  • What are the primary transmission and distribution (T&D) applications for robotics technology?
  • Which companies are pushing the drones and robotics for T&D (DRTD) market forward?
  • Which utilities are pioneering the deployment of robotics technologies?
  • How are utility companies deploying robotics and assimilating the collected data?
  • What are the primary market drivers and barriers in the DRTD market?
  • Which regions and applications are the best bets for short- and long-term ROI on DRTD solutions?
Who needs this report?
  • Robotics manufacturers
  • Robotics as a service (RaaS) vendors
  • Utility solutions providers
  • Utilities
  • Enterprise software providers
  • Government agencies
  • Investor community

Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary

1.1   Market Overview

1.2   Report Scope

1.3   Emerging Trends and Market Drivers

1.4   Global Outlook and Market Forecast

2. Market Issues

2.1   Introduction

2.2   Robotics Types and Definitions

2.3   Purchasing Models

2.4   Market Drivers

2.4.1   Aging Electric Infrastructure and Network Reliability

2.4.2   Safety Improvements

2.4.3   Savings and Cost Shifting

2.4.4   Data Collection, Integration, and Analysis

2.5   Market Barriers

2.5.1   Regulatory

2.5.2   Financial

2.5.3   R&D Funding

2.5.4   Technology Limitations

3. Technology Issues

3.1   Introduction

3.2   GBR

3.2.1   Maintenance and Construction

3.2.2   Substation Inspection

3.2.3   GBR Challenges and Limitations

3.3   LSR

3.3.1   Line Inspection and Repair

3.3.2   LSR Challenges and Limitations

3.4   Aerial Robotics (UAVs)

3.4.1   Line and Substation Inspection

3.4.2   Disaster Response, Damage Assessment, and Repair

3.4.3   Limitations and Barriers

3.5   Asset Management, Integration, and Data Analytics

3.5.1   Collaborations

3.5.2   Integration and Analytics Challenges and Limitations

4. Key Industry Players

4.1   Overview

4.2   Product Developers

4.2.1   Aeryon Labs

4.2.2   Aibotix

4.2.3   Airobotics

4.2.4   Ascending Technologies (Subsidiary of Intel)

4.2.5   DJI

4.2.6   FLIR Systems

4.2.7   HiBot

4.2.8   Hitachi High-Technologies Corp.

4.2.9   Identified Technologies

4.2.10   Kraft TeleRobotics

4.2.11   MIR Innovation

4.2.12   Quanta Energized Services

4.2.13   SMP Robotics

4.3   Solutions Providers

4.3.1   ABB

4.3.2   General Electric

4.3.3   Oracle

4.3.4   Quanta Services

4.3.5   Siemens

4.3.6   Wipro

4.4   Utilities

4.4.1   AEP Corp.

4.4.2   ComEd

4.4.3   Eversource Energy

4.4.4   Hydro-Québec

4.4.5   KEPCO

4.4.6   UK Power Networks

4.4.7   Xcel Energy

5. Market Forecasts

5.1   Introduction

5.2   DRTD Market Forecasts

5.2.1   North America

5.2.2   Europe

5.2.3   Asia Pacific

5.2.4   Latin America

5.2.5   Middle East & Africa

5.3   Conclusions and Recommendations

5.3.1   Recommendations for Utilities

5.3.2   Recommendations for Vendors

6. Acronym and Abbreviation List
7. Table of Contents
8. Table of Charts and Figures
9. Scope of Study, Sources and Methodology, Notes

List of Charts and Figures

  • GBR Devices
  • Line-Suspended Robotics Devices
  • Aerial Robotics Devices
  • Example UAV Asset Management Workflow
  • Annual DRTD Combined Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2017-2026
  • Annual DRTD Combined Revenue by Technology Segment, North America: 2017-2026
  • Annual DRTD Combined Revenue by Technology Segment, Europe: 2017-2026
  • Annual DRTD Combined Revenue by Technology Segment, Latin America, 2017-2026
  • Annual DRTD Combined Revenue by Technology Segment, Asia Pacific: 2017-2026
  • Annual DRTD Combined Revenue by Technology Segment, Middle East & Africa: 2017-2026

List of Tables

  • Drones and Robotics for Transmission and Distribution SWOT Analysis
  • Robotics Hardware in Utility Operations by Technology
  • Annual DRTD Combined Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2017-2026
  • Annual DRTD T&D Lines Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2017-2026
  • Annual DRTD Substations Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2017-2026
  • Annual DRTD Combined Revenue by Technology Segment, World Markets: 2017-2026
  • Annual DRTD Combined Revenue by Technology Segment, North America: 2017-2026
  • Annual DRTD Combined Revenue by Technology Segment, Europe: 2017-2026
  • Annual DRTD Combined Revenue by Technology Segment, Asia Pacific: 2017-2026
  • Annual DRTD Combined Revenue by Technology Segment, Latin America, 2017-2026
  • Annual DRTD Combined Revenue by Technology Segment, Middle East & Africa: 2017-2026
  • Annual DRTD T&D Lines Revenue by Technology Segment, World Markets: 2017-2026
  • Annual DRTD T&D Lines Revenue by Technology Segment, North America: 2017-2026
  • Annual DRTD T&D Lines Revenue by Technology Segment, Europe: 2017-2026
  • Annual DRTD T&D Lines Revenue by Technology Segment, Asia Pacific: 2017-2026
  • Annual DRTD T&D Lines Revenue by Technology Segment, Latin America: 2017-2026
  • Annual DRTD T&D Lines Revenue by Technology Segment, Middle East & Africa: 2017-2026
  • Annual DRTD Substations Revenue by Technology Segment, World Markets: 2017-2026
  • Annual DRTD Substations Revenue by Technology Segment, North America: 2017-2026
  • Annual DRTD Substations Revenue by Technology Segment, Europe: 2017-2026
  • Annual DRTD Substations Revenue by Technology Segment, Asia Pacific: 2017-2026
  • Annual DRTD Substations Revenue by Technology Segment, Latin America, 2017-2026
  • Annual DRTD Substations Revenue by Technology Segment, Middle East & Africa: 2017-2026
  • Annual GBR Combined Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2017-2026
  • Annual GBR T&D Lines Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2017-2026
  • Annual GBR Substations Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2017-2026
  • Annual LSR T&D Lines Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2017-2026
  • Annual UAV Combined Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2017-2026
  • Annual UAV T&D Lines Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2017-2026
  • Annual UAV Substations Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2017-2026
  • Annual Integration and Analysis Software Combined Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2017-2026
  • Annual Integration and Analysis Software T&D Lines Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2017-2026
  • Annual Integration and Analysis Software Substations Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2017-2026
  • Annual Labor and Human Services Combined Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2017-2026
  • Annual Labor and Human Services T&D Lines Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2017-2026
  • Annual Labor and Human Services Substations Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2017-2026
  • Annual RaaS Combined Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2017-2026
  • Annual RaaS T&D Lines Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2017-2026
  • Annual RaaS Substations Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2017-2026

Report Details

  • Pages: 50
  • Tables, Charts,
    Figures:
    49
  • Release Date: 3Q 2017
  • Release File(s): PDF* and Excel *Indicates primary report file.

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