Infrastructure maintenance is a critical aspect of any developed society. It involves the upkeep of roads, bridges, tunnels, railways, and other essential structures that facilitate transportation and communication. Traditionally, this maintenance has been carried out by human workers who physically inspect the structures, often putting themselves in dangerous situations and taking a considerable amount of time. However, with the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) and drone technology, a new era of infrastructure maintenance is upon us. This article will delve into how the integration of IoT and drone technology is revolutionizing infrastructure maintenance, making it more efficient, cost-effective, and safer.

The Challenges of Traditional Infrastructure Maintenance

Traditional infrastructure maintenance involves manual inspection and monitoring of structures. This approach has several drawbacks:

  • Time-Consuming: Manual inspections are time-consuming and often require the closure of roads or railway lines, causing inconvenience to the public.
  • Dangerous: Inspectors often have to work in hazardous environments, such as at great heights or in confined spaces, putting their safety at risk.
  • Costly: Manual inspections involve significant labor costs and often require specialized equipment and machinery.
  • Incomplete Data: Human inspectors can only cover a limited area and may miss critical defects or damages.

The Role of IoT in Infrastructure Maintenance

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the network of physical devices that are connected to the internet and can communicate with each other. In the context of infrastructure maintenance, IoT devices, such as sensors, can be installed on structures to continuously monitor their condition. These sensors can measure various parameters such as temperature, vibration, and strain, and send this data to a central server for analysis. This allows for real-time monitoring of the infrastructure and early detection of any potential issues.

The Role of Drones in Infrastructure Maintenance

Drones, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), are aircraft that can be operated without a human pilot onboard. They are equipped with cameras and sensors that can capture high-resolution images and videos of structures from various angles. Drones can access hard-to-reach areas, such as the underside of a bridge or the top of a tall building, without putting human workers at risk. They can also cover large areas in a short amount of time, making the inspection process much more efficient.

The Integration of IoT and Drones

By integrating IoT and drone technology, we can optimize the infrastructure maintenance process in the following ways:

  • Comprehensive Data Collection: IoT sensors installed on structures can continuously monitor their condition, while drones can periodically inspect the structures from different angles. This provides a comprehensive set of data that can be analyzed to assess the overall health of the infrastructure.
  • Real-Time Monitoring: IoT sensors can provide real-time data on the condition of the structures, while drones can be deployed quickly in response to any alerts generated by the sensors. This allows for timely intervention and prevents minor issues from escalating into major problems.
  • Cost-Effective: The use of IoT and drones reduces the need for manual inspections, thereby reducing labor costs and the need for specialized equipment and machinery. It also minimizes the need for road or railway closures, reducing the inconvenience to the public.
  • Enhanced Safety: By using drones to inspect hard-to-reach areas, we can eliminate the need for human workers to work in hazardous environments. This significantly reduces the risk of accidents and injuries.
  • Predictive Maintenance: The data collected by the IoT sensors and drones can be analyzed using advanced algorithms to predict when a structure may fail or require maintenance. This allows for proactive maintenance, rather than reactive repairs, which can be more cost-effective and minimize disruption.



AVIORYM is a cutting-edge technology solution developed by ADPM Drones. It is an intelligent hangar that offers several advanced features, including:

  • Recharging the aircraft
  • Secure and efficient transmission of data
  • Real-time management of commands and instruments
  • Comprehensive protection for the drone

AVIORYM offers remote management capabilities through a cloud-based connection and traditional channels such as 4G, 5G, Wi-Fi, and satellite. This provides users with versatility and flexibility in their operations.

The solution includes a REST API management platform, engineered to integrate seamlessly the control and command functionalities of AVIORYM and the drone into existing software systems. This integration optimizes operations and boosts overall efficiency. Additionally, we provide not only the APIs that enable third-party platforms to incorporate AVIORYM into their systems, but also a stand-alone web platform that allows for direct management in cases where integration is not necessary or possible. This dual approach ensures maximum accessibility and flexibility for a variety of users and scenarios.

In addition, AVIORYM features a fast charging system and advanced intelligence capabilities, allowing for autonomous management of the flight process. This significantly reduces the workload on operators and eliminates the need for manual intervention in certain aspects of the flight.

The solution also integrates a weather station, which assesses flight conditions in real-time, and can be managed in three different modes. These features make AVIORYM a powerful and reliable solution for drone operations.

  • Pre-Programmed Missions: These missions are based on a predetermined flight plan, allowing for efficient and streamlined operations.
  • Guided Missions in Real-Time: This type of mission is controlled by remote operators in a control room, providing real-time monitoring and intervention capabilities.
  • Autonomous Missions: In these missions, an integrated network of sensors communicates with AVIORYM, enabling the system to receive input signals from one or more sensors. This allows AVIORYM to direct the drone to the target location and provide real-time video streaming and situational awareness. This capability enhances operational efficiency and effectiveness, and eliminates the need for manual intervention in certain aspects of the flight.

Utilizing AVIORYM in infrastructure maintenance provides the ability to manage drone operations remotely, integrate seamlessly with existing systems, and autonomously manage flight processes, which lightens the operator’s workload. Its real-time weather adaptation and support for various mission modes contribute to its effectiveness. Ultimately, AVIORYM streamlines infrastructure maintenance, resulting in significant cost savings and increased safety.

Case Study: Securegas Project

The SecureGas project is part of the EU H2020 framework program, aiming to strengthen the security and resilience of the European gas network, considering both physical and cyber threats. It involves a consortium of 21 European companies, including Leonardo, Eni, and ADPM Drones, coordinated by RINA.

ADPM Drones contributed by installing an AVIORYM at a site managed by Eni’s Logistics Department, where a 100-km-long infrastructure linking Chivasso and Pollein is located. The smart docking station enabled autonomous operations in the advanced management of takeoff, landing, charging, and data transmission, allowing drones to monitor large areas, infrastructure, and pipelines without the need for pilots.


The project was designed to recreate various scenarios to assess the effectiveness of the solution in ensuring safety and resilience in upstream and midstream gas infrastructure. These scenarios included testing for third-party interference and leak detection, providing advance warning of landslides that could impact the infrastructure.

The ultimate goal of the SecureGas project was to determine the most effective course of action among multiple options, potential decisions, and their consequences. This decision-making process is crucial in real-world scenarios to secure existing and future facilities against possible offensives by hostile actors.

A significant impact of the project was the reduction in maintenance assessment time. Before implementing the drone and AVIORYM solution, the team took a total of 45 minutes for maintenance assessment. After implementing the solution, the maintenance assessment task was completed in just 7 minutes, showcasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the technology.

This case study underscores the innovative approach of leveraging autonomous drone technology to bolster the security and resilience of critical gas infrastructure. It showcases the potential of solutions like AVIORYM in streamlining infrastructure maintenance and management processes, resulting in significant cost savings, increased safety, and enhanced operational efficiency.

Want to know more about it?

The integration of IoT, drone technology, and innovative solutions like AVIORYM is revolutionizing infrastructure maintenance. These advancements not only optimize the maintenance process but also contribute to significant cost savings, increased safety, and enhanced operational efficiency. As our society continues to evolve, it is crucial to adopt these innovative solutions to maintain and preserve our critical infrastructure. If you would like more information about AVIORYM or are interested in a tailored solution for your organization, please do not hesitate to reach out. Our team of experts is here to help you navigate the future of infrastructure maintenance.