Researchers at AT&T Labs are studying ways to use video footage from a drone flying around a cell tower and artificial intelligence techniques to analyze the footage for signs of damage.
If the system proves to be accurate, it could save the time and money it takes to have engineers physically climb cell towers to do inspections, as well as the time and money it takes to have engineers review the drone footage.
"We are using algorithms...the algorithm can learn what it is that it's looking at and take appropriate actions," says AT&T's Art Pregler.
The researchers used 6,000 videos and more than 1 million cell tower photos to create its tower-inspection algorithm, which will be able to identify more than 200 types of elements on the towers.
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