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Duke Energy Used Computer Vision, Robots to Cut Costs by $74 Million

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Using a drone to inspect a solar farm.

Duke Energy chief information officer Bonnie Titone said, We look to emerging data science tools and AI solutions, which in turn brought us to computer vision, and ultimately, drones in order to inspect our solar farms.


Bonnie Titone at Duke Energy said the U.S. utility company has slashed its labor costs by more than $74 million via emerging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning solutions, including computer vision and robots.

Titone said the company's AI efforts led to the deployment of computer vision, and later drones, to inspect solar farms.

She said thousands of drone images were combined with computer vision, enabling technicians to more safely check for faults and other issues.

Duke Energy then developed a Mobile Observation Vehicle and Equipment Solutions model to collect and process drone data and imagery and identify faults in minutes, and the latest model used in inspections achieved 91% accuracy.

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