Here our chat with Kevin Lind, CTO at Perceptual Robotics.
Disrupt SW: As an intro, what does Perceptual Robotics do, what stage are you at currently and what makes the business and your offering unique?
Kevin Lind: Perceptual Robotics is developing drones for large infrastructure inspection. We’re starting with an autonomous wind turbine blade inspection capability, developing the drone, flight software and data processing pipeline to allow inspection providers to quickly, and effectively understand the health of wind turbine, and plan maintenance actions.
Disrupt SW: Speaking of People, can you share some challenges you have faced, are facing or are anticipating around up-scaling and growing your team? And are there any top tips
you could share with those faced with the same issues?
Kevin Lind: The product we’re developing is very multi disciplinary, with expertise needed from mechanical, and electrical engineering, to computer vision, route optimisation, and database management. At the moment we cover the needed technical fields with our team of 6. In the near future we’ll need to grow the team and finding people across so many skills isn’t easy. We’re fortunate to be part of both Setsquared and the Bristol Robotics Lab Incubator, which have great communities and expertise around them. So I’d recommend finding good communities to be a part of when first growing a team.
Disrupt SW: Moving to Product, what is your approach to understanding and addressing
implications of change around you?
Kevin Lind: To pick drones as a first product was simply following our interest and experience, however wind turbine blade inspection was a choice based on impact. Where could drones provide the most benefits? Answering that question was a great deal of market research.
Disrupt SW: Do you have any tips to ensure focus of planning and strategies on opportunities, options and possibilities when faced with change?
Kevin Lind: Focus is a question of priorities in my mind. So first listing out your priorities will help scale, and order opportunities and options by importance.
Disrupt SW: And then Potential, can you share some challenges or barriers you had to overcome to create a Product / Offering with potential?
Kevin Lind: Our approach has been to address several challenges at once. The automatic drone flight to acquire images, no small feat in and of itself, as well as the image processing to detect anomalies and data management and storage. Each provides value and potential, but together they provide more than the sum of the parts. However developing all these demands more time and challenge than one alone.
Disrupt SW: And finally, is there one piece of wisdom you could pass on and share with those that are part of a Disrupter Business...
Kevin Lind: Be dedicated and sometimes the more difficult option is worth the effort, in which case do the hard work.