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Shell CIO to Begin Testing AI-Enabled Drones at Houston Plant

Royal Dutch Shell PLC is testing how artificial intelligence-enabled drones could help prevent costly maintenance problems on expensive equipment while improving worker safety, said Jay Crotts, the oil company’s executive vice president and global chief information officer.

Beginning early next year, the company will deploy several drones in a proof-of-concept project at the Shell Technology Center in Houston, which encompasses 1.2 million square feet and 44 buildings of laboratory and office space.

Flying at a maximum height of about 8,000 feet and weighing about 4 pounds, Shell’s drones will collect images of the Houston facility using cameras and infrared sensors.

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