Startup Series: Meet Skyqraft

Skyqraft is an Antler-generated startup built to transform what the long-range power line inspection looks like today. Using manned helicopters and ground crew is not only outdated and time consuming, it’s also dangerous, expensive and unsustainable.

Skyqraft offers autonomous, long-range infrastructure inspections that gathers video and image data using drones. Their machine learning system will then use this data to detect any potential threats towards the grid. The startup was founded in the inaugural Stockholm cohort by CEO David Almroth, CTO Umar Chughtai and Sales Director Sakina Turabali.


David Almroth: Right now, they inspect power lines with helicopters and people on the ground. It’s really expensive, it's dangerous. People shouldn’t be close to power lines at all and helicopters burn so much fuel, it’s not sustainable. We want to change that. 

We are all about autonomous, long-range infrastructure inspections. That means we are going to fly unmanned aircrafts over power lines and we record videos and take pictures. We deliver a system that will use machine learning on top of these images and videos to detect any threat towards the grid.

We are the perfect team to do this. We have one drone expert, who grew up doing aircrafts. We have me, who is a software guy, who can do the machine learning part. Then, we have a founder that can do the scaling from a small startup to a large company with sales and marketing. 

Umar Chughtai: This guy behind me can fly about 10 kilometers out and 10 kilometers back, so 20 kilometers in total. The reason why we do that is to get coverage of both sides of the power line when we’re doing live inspections. 

We have an array of cameras on this thing. One is a 360-degree camera which gives you the overview of the corridor. You can swivel the camera in any direction you want and look at anything you want in the video. The other thing we provide is high resolution still images. With those still images, you can do close-ups of infrastructure. So if an insulator is damaged, if there is rust on the wire or any fine detail that you want to pay attention to, that’s what those still pictures provide.

Sakina Turabali: These eight months have been the most exciting eight months. We were the first company to receive the Beyond Visual Line of Sight drone license for fixed-winged drones. We have also flown for big customers like E:On 

David Almroth: We’re going to start with power lines because it’s a very good time for that right now. But we can investigate or inspect any type of long-range infrastructure. That could be railroads, highways, rivers, it could also be 4G network antennas.

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