Joint deployment of hybrid bridge maintenance solution service using drones and ropework in Japan and overseas to start; Comprehensive business alliance with Tokusyu Kousyo Gijutsu Inc.

A.L.I. Technologies Inc. (“A.L.I.”)  has signed a comprehensive business alliance agreement with Tokusyu Kousyo Gijutsu Inc. (“TKG”) to jointly develop a hybrid solution using drones and specially designed techniques such as ropework for infrastructure structure inspections.

■Background of Business Alliance
In 2014, periodic inspections of road facilities (bridges, etc.) became mandatory in Japan, including close-up visual inspections, in which engineers approach and evaluate the structure.

The need for TKG to access difficult-to-access areas using high-strength ropes, harnesses, and other equipment has grown rapidly. This is because the inspection of bridges, of which there are more than 700,000 in Japan, has become necessary to conduct every 5 years.

TKG’s high technical capabilities in completing work at high elevations with difficult proximity, such as bridges, dams, and wind power generation, have earned it a reputation as a leader in ropework operations in Japan to date; and in 2019, inspection procedures were partially revised to allow the use of new technologies such as drones for infrastructure inspections.

A.L.I. has been promoting the use of drones to improve the efficiency of infrastructure inspection work since A.L.I. was founded in 2016.

In close-up visual inspections, by replacing humans with drones, the companies have succeeded in reducing labor time and costs at many of their sites. In bridge inspections in particular, drones are attracting attention as a new standard inspection method.

In recent years, several drones for bridge inspections have been featured in Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s inspection support technology performance catalog.

However, even if drones can inspect the surface of bridges, there are still many situations where human intervention is required. Examples include more precise nondestructive inspection and repair work.

Therefore, TKG, with its skilled technical capabilities in proximity work covering bridge inspections throughout Japan, and A.L.I., with its technology that will lead the drone industry, have initiated a collaboration.

The companies will attempt to develop and propose comprehensive bridge maintenance solutions that ensure mobility and expertise.

■The purpose of the business alliance
A.L.I. and TKG will endeavor to promote the standardization of bridge inspection work by launching a new service that combines drones and special elevation technology.

Furthermore, the companies expect to contribute to bridge maintenance in Japan by establishing work manuals and work evaluation guidelines, and by spreading the use of highly productive and safe services.

In 2024, the jurisdiction of water pipeline bridges will change from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. (Until now, inspections of water pipelines have been the main focus, but bridge inspections of water pipeline bridges are also becoming increasingly important.) This is due to the large-scale water outage in the region caused by the collapse of a water pipe bridge in Wakayama.

The companies plan to establish a solution for the inspection of aqueducts and bridges based on the know-how of both companies cultivated in bridge maintenance. The companies would also like to contribute to extending the service life of water pipe bridge facilities throughout Japan.

Japanese bridge engineering technology has taken root in various countries around the world through JICA and ODA. This is because Japan was one of the first countries in the world to begin focusing on the field of infrastructure maintenance. We expect that A.L.I. will accumulate technological capabilities here in Japan, and at the same time, through this business alliance, the companies aim to resolve issues related to bridge infrastructure maintenance around the world.

Bridge inspection using special elevation technology

Bridge inspection being conducted remotely using a drone


<Tokusyu Kousyo Gijutsu Inc.>
TKG started out as a structural survey company specializing in difficult-to-access locations using specially designed techniques that allow access to high altitudes. Today, TKG handles a wide range of services, including survey inspection, nondestructive testing, and repair work for civil engineering structures such as bridges and dams, fiberglass-reinforced plastic laminate repair of wind turbine blades, and steep cliff surveys.

By having qualified and experienced engineers in close proximity to the subject of the work, highly accurate survey results can be obtained, and repair work can be performed with minimal cost. In wind power generation-related work, the techniques designed and employed by TKG does not require large heavy machinery or temporary scaffolding. Therefore, it can be applied to site environments where heavy equipment (such as elevating vehicles) cannot be installed, where approaching the site is difficult due to snow accumulation, or to offshore wind farms where normal access is not possible.

<A.L.I. Technologies Inc.>
Under the mission statement Changing Society from the Top Down, A.L.I. has developed and released air mobility platform, C.O.S.M.O.S., and the XTURISMO Limited Edition Hoverbike. A.L.I. will continue to innovate, unbound by existing ideas, to develop and deploy systems that are necessary for the realization of an air mobility society.

■Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains statements that constitute “forward-looking statements.” Forward-looking statements are subject to numerous conditions, many of which are beyond A.L.I.’s control. While A.L.I. believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on any such forward-looking statements, which are based on information available to A.L.I. on the date of this release. These forward-looking statements are based upon current estimates and assumptions and are subject to various risks and uncertainties. Actual results could be materially different. A.L.I. undertakes no obligation to update these statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this release, except as required by law.


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