Innovation From Concept to Commercialization
Field Deployment of Advanced Technology

ULC Robotics Tests Drone Tech at Former Grumman Site

ULC Robotics

LI-Based Robotics Firm Builds Unmanned Aerial Systems Locally to Support Future Windfarms

ULC Robotics, a rapidly expanding Long Island-based technology firm serving the utility and offshore wind markets, has been granted a temporary license agreement to use the inactive western runway at the Enterprise Park at Calverton (EPCAL) for testing of their unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones.

The request was unanimously approved at a meeting of the Riverhead Town Board on April 7, 2020 and enables ULC Robotics to use a 2,500 square foot area for flight test operations of their custom-developed, US-built blended wing body vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) fixed wing aircraft.

“Having open space away from the general public is key for us to safely perform flight testing of our new blended wing body VTOL aircraft,” said Mike Passaretti, Director of Aerial Services at ULC Robotics. “And there’s a lot of great history at EPCAL. It was the former site of the Grumman Corporation, where they assembled and tested their aircraft, so it feels like we’re reviving a little bit of Long Island’s aviation history.”

The VTOL aircraft is being developed at ULC Robotics’ Hauppauge, NY headquarters in order to support offshore wind farms, which are to be built off the coast of Long Island. By building and operating their purpose-built UAS to support wind farms, the company estimates a significant 6.8% reduction in the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) and expects a considerable reduction in or elimination of safety hazards.

ULC Robotics will deploy their VTOL aircraft to provide services including protected species observation during offshore wind farm construction, inspection of critical assets, the delivery of parts for repairs, and even search and rescue efforts.

ULC Robotics started supporting the offshore wind industry in 2018 by inspecting the wind turbine foundations of the Block Island Windfarm, the first windfarm in the US. The company has since continued work for Orsted, owner of the Block Island Wind Farm, and also currently performs unmanned aerial services for companies such as PSEG Long Island, National Grid, and Con Edison.

ULC Robotics Supports UK Decarbonization Goals with Advanced, Eco-Friendly Operation Stations

ULC Robotics

ULC Robotics, a leading Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) solutions provider, is expanding its ability to sustainably and safely deliver leading-edge technology to the energy industry.

“ULC Robotics are exploring the use of innovative solutions to improve our daily operations and make any adjustments necessary to support the country’s recent decarbonization goals,” said Graeme Cleeton, VP of UK Operations.

In collaboration with Boss Cabins and TAG Systems, ULC Robotics has created a new control center cabin for its UK CISBOT operations. CISBOT, short for Cast Iron Joint Sealing Robot, works within live gas mains to seal aging or leaking joints, extending their lifetime by fifty years. The robot is powered by a generator and is typically operated during a 12-hour window by a crew from within a box truck.

Working closely with Boss Cabins, market leader in welfare cabin design and manufacturing, ULC Robotics outlined a variety of safety and environmental concerns to help produce a distinctive, one-of-a-kind cabin to meet their unique needs.

“These container units will help us maintain our practice of providing environmentally sound, minimally disruptive services to our clients,” said Cleeton.

The newly built 20-foot mobile units have been furnished with solar panels, which are used to charge lithium-ion batteries during daylight hours. The batteries are then able to power the unit at night, enabling 24-hour operations. In the event that there is not enough light to charge the batteries adequately, the unit is equipped with an efficient, silent-run generator to provide back-up power. The eco-friendly dual-power solution mitigates any noise pollution and minimizes project emissions.

“We are delighted to have collaborated with ULC on this unique new cabin and helped to find solutions to the operational, safety and environmental issues raised,” said Tim Allan, Director at Boss Cabins. “The purpose-specific design will, we hope, enable ULC to work more effectively over longer periods with less disruption and minimal environmental impact.”

Each cabin is outfitted with a state-of-the-art security system, custom designed by Tag Systems, Europe’s leading manufacturer of wireless security equipment. The system includes high definition CCTV cameras, motion detectors, and an alarm linked to a security response team.

The first two units were delivered in January 2020 and installed in Sloane Square, London, at job sites for UK gas distribution network Cadent. The units have received praise from local government and have enabled ULC Robotics to celebrate their first carbon-neutral day on January 31st.

ULC Robotics and SGN Team Up to Build All-Electric Excavation Robot

ULC Robotics

US Robotics Firm and UK Gas Network Develop World’s First Robotic Roadworks and Excavation System to Transform Utility Excavation

One of the largest gas network companies in the UK has partnered with a world-leading robotics company to transform the most costly and disruptive job in the industry – excavation.

With its gas pipes buried underneath Britain’s roads and pavements, excavating in the road is essential to enable SGN to maintain and upgrade its network. However, this doesn’t come without associated safety implications as well as disruption to residents and road users. SGN is committed to reducing the impact of its essential work on the public and so the company is investing in ground-breaking technology to alleviate these issues.

“Because we operate 76,000km of underground pipelines in the UK and dig thousands of excavations every year, we recognize the need for smarter roadworks,” said John Richardson, Head of Innovation at SGN. “We’re leading the effort to change utility excavation by investing in the development of technology to address this global problem.”

The Robotic Roadworks and Excavation System (RRES) project combines a powerful industrial robot, an all-electric track drive system, below-ground locating sensors, artificial intelligence, machine vision, and new vacuum excavation methods for safer, faster autonomous roadworks.

The collaborative project between ULC Robotics and SGN, which is funded by UK energy regulator Ofgem, will reduce accidental damages to buried infrastructure, minimize carbon emissions and improve the safety and speed of utility excavation and construction.

“We are at the midway point of the project and in partnership with SGN we have been able to create the world’s first functional all-electric autonomous excavation robot,” said Ali Asmari, Ph.D, Program Manager at ULC Robotics. “There is a significant amount of work remaining, including the development of additional tools and support equipment, as well as testing and validating the robotic operation in different environments, but we have an outstanding team and are confident that the robot will be ready to work come 2021.”

The RRES is currently conducting autonomous operations, including cutting of the road surface and performing a patented vacuum excavation method.

“Progress on the development, learnings and outputs of the project have gone above and beyond our expectations,” said Richardson. “We see RRES as a platform that can expand to meet the needs of the global utility and construction industries.”

Initial field trials of RRES are scheduled to take place in 2020 on the SGN network.

ULC Robotics & SGN Celebrate Six Years with CISBOT

ULC Robotics

Since 2013, ULC Robotics has partnered with UK gas network SGN on a variety of projects designed to drive innovation and solve daily operational challenges through ground-breaking technologies.

Our partnership had led to the commercialization of our CISBOT technology in the UK, where robotic repairs for gas mains remediation is now business as usual. Using CISBOT, SGN has been able to successfully upgrade 44 kilometers of live natural gas mains, sealing more than 12,000 joints beneath some of Britain’s most iconic, highly-trafficked roads including George Street, Edinburgh and critical portions of their southern network.

Using CISBOT technology over the past six years has really revolutionized roadworks. Robotic technology reduces the need for multiple excavations and trenches, reduces disruption on the roads and saves time and money, which is excellent news for motorists, our customers, and the local community.” -John Richardson, Head of Innovation, SGN

Read the full press release here.

New York Technology Developer Names New President as Company Continues to Grow

ULC Robotics

Robert Kodadek Named President of ULC Robotics

ULC Robotics, a rapidly expanding Long Island-based technology firm serving the utility and energy markets, announced today that Robert Kodadek has been promoted to President of the company.

“There is extraordinary momentum underway within ULC Robotics and the industries that we serve,” said Kodadek. “I am incredibly proud of what we have already achieved, and excited to help lead the company to its next phase of innovation and growth.”

Prior to this appointment, Kodadek had served as Chief Technology Officer and was responsible for leading the company’s innovation and research and development efforts. In that role he oversaw a team of 40 employees comprised of mechanical and electrical engineers, sensor scientists, software and firmware developers, and project managers who design and develop robotic technologies to help utility and energy companies operate more efficiently.

Kodadek joined ULC Robotics in 2009 from Verified Identity Pass, where he acted as the Senior Director of Field Services & Engineering, managing the deployment of the company’s biometric enrollment and verification technology. Before Verified Identity Pass, he held several roles at Raytheon, an international defense and cybersecurity contractor.

“Rob has been instrumental to our success and rapid growth over the years,” said Gregory Penza, Founder and CEO of ULC Robotics. “He is uniquely qualified to lead our continued growth, expand into new markets, and further drive innovation to elevate the success of the company.”

Cadent: Students Learn With Robots in London

ULC Robotics

In partnership with ULC Robotics, Cadent is working to give engineering students hands-on experience maintaining and repairing the network’s critical gas pipeline across London. Through an apprenticeship program with Middlesbrough College, the two companies are appealing to new talent with their use of robotic technology— namely CISBOT, which works within live gas mains to seal aging or leak-prone joints.

At Cadent we’re keen to support initiatives to encourage the next generation of engineers and the importance of this particular work placement scheme should not be underestimated. Together with ULC Robotics, Cadent is giving young engineering students first-hand experience of working robots, a technology that’s likely to play an ever-increasing role in engineering projects. -James Harrison, Director of Cadent’s London Network

Launched in June 2019, the multi-partner program is helping to attract a variety of talent, ultimately keeping the energy industry at the forefront of innovation and ensuring a diverse talent pool. Read the full press release here.

New Hires at ULC Robotics, Inc. Signal Company’s Commitment to Innovation in the US and UK Energy Markets

ULC Robotics

Noteworthy Utility Industry Professionals Thomas Barracca and Sam Wilson Join ULC’s Business Development Team

Hauppauge, NY, June 21, 2017 – ULC Robotics, Inc., a leading robotics, energy services and research and development company focused on the energy and utility industries, is expanding its ability to provide the US and UK energy markets with innovative technology and processes by appointing two industry experts to the company.

ROBOTIC INNOVATION IN THE ENERGY AND UTILITY INDUSTRY BRINGS GLOBAL RECOGNITION FOR ULC

ULC Robotics

ROBOTICS BUSINESS REVIEW RECOGNIZES ULC ROBOTICS
AS A TOP 50 INDUSTRY LEADING ROBOTICS COMPANY

ULC Robotics, Inc., a leading developer of robotic technology and services for the energy and utility industries, has been named for the third time as one of the most noteworthy companies in the global robotics industry by Robotics Business Review (RBR).

ULC Robotics, Inc. Appoints Top UK Executive Graeme Cleeton to Serve as Vice President of UK Operations

ULC Robotics

ULC Robotics, Inc., a leading robotics, energy services, and research and development company focused on the energy and utility industries, recently appointed Mr. Graeme Cleeton to Vice President of United Kingdom Operations.

With more than 30 years of experience in the UK utility industry, Cleeton has an outstanding track record of developing, implementing and delivering first-class strategy and planning for efficiently driving growth and improving company profitability.

“The UK utility networks are constantly searching for innovative solutions that will enhance their asset’s operations, increase safety and minimize impact to the public,” said Gregory Penza, President, and CEO of ULC Robotics, Inc. “With Graeme in place as the VP of Operations, ULC’s UK business efforts will continue to address those needs while developing beneficial, strategic partnerships that will allow our innovative solutions to be successfully deployed for our clients.”

FAA Issues Section 333 Exemption to ULC Robotics, Inc. for Commercial UAV Operations

ULC Robotics

ULC Robotics, Inc. Fulfills FAA Compliance Standards to Perform Inspections and Surveys for the Energy and Utility Industries with Commercial Unmanned Aerial Systems

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y., March 30, 2016– ULC Robotics, Inc. (ULC), a leading robotics, energy services, and research and development company focused on the energy and utility industries, is proud to announce it has been granted the Section 333 Exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The exemption provides ULC with a general Certificate of Authorization to operate unmanned aerial systems (UAS) under 400 feet throughout the United States.

“Receiving the FAA Section 333 Exemption is an exciting development for our company and another cutting-edge innovative process we can deploy to benefit our clients and their customers,” said Gregory Penza, president and CEO of ULC Robotics. “ULC’s unmanned aerial inspection program is backed by our research and development and field operations teams, as well as a team of expert UAS consultants who will integrate professional-grade UAS with carefully selected sensors to ensure the highest quality inspections.”

ULC will utilize UAS to aid in the unmanned aerial inspection and surveys of difficult-to-access structures, monitor for gas leaks in distribution or transmission pipelines, inspect buildings and act as an emergency response assessment tool.

“Unmanned aerial systems offer a myriad of uses that utility industries and energy businesses can fully benefit from,” said Aubrey Anderson, head of the UAS program for ULC. “Using unmanned aerial inspections to monitor gas pipelines or electrical lines allows utilities to gather critical data, while reducing costs and keeping workers safe by eliminating the need to climb heights or navigate through hazardous terrain.”

Since September 2014, the FAA has issued more than 4,000 Section 333 Exemptions to businesses across the US. ULC is excited to be at the forefront of safely executing UAS operations and to bring innovative technology to the utility industry.

ULC plans to work with gas and electric utility customers and start demonstrations in June. In addition to electric and utility inspections, ULC’s UAS team has expressed their ability to expand UAS operations to other industries including construction, agriculture and commercial real estate.

For more information on ULC Robotics, Inc. and the company’s Unmanned Aerial Utility Inspection Services, please visit www.ulcrobotics.com.

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