OzTech: Endeavour tests drones in NSW for maintenance checks; More IT jobs in Adelaide

OzTech Roundup is Computerworld Australia’s weekly look at the world of IT.

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Drones to help inspect NSW’s electricity network

One of 19 projects funded by the 5G Innovation Initiative has been trialled with two drones utilising the Optus 5G public network and equipped with artificial intelligence and ultra-high-definition cameras able to run a first inspection of Endeavour Energy’s electricity network.

After a “successful demonstration”, Endeavour is to use the drones across infrastructure assets in Penrith and Blacktown in New South Wales, to help the energy provider improve network safety and avoid unplanned power outages. The trials in those regions will continue until October 2022, Endeavour told Computerworld Australia, and that it plans to purchase a third drone.

These inspections are usually carried out by a combination of vehicles, helicopters, and technicians across its more than 60,000km of power lines, 400,000 power poles and 32,000 substations across Sydney’s Greater West, the Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands, the Illawarra, and the South Coast of New South Wales. If the drone program is successful in the long term, Endeavour may no longer need to count on large vehicles and helicopters.

The $648,000 funding was awarded in late August 2021 to Optus in partnership with Endeavour Energy, Unleash Live, and Amazon Web Services to trial the use of drones and vehicles to monitor Endeavour’s electrical infrastructure.

More IT jobs in Adelaide

Avanade is the latest tech company to announce a hub in Adelaide, South Australia. The digital and cloud services provider has opened an engineering hub that already employs 50 people.

Avanade plans to double the headcount in 12 months and wants to ensure that 40% of the hires are women and that a minimum of 5% of the workforce are Indigenous Australians. It will also focus on early career opportunities and options for those from non-tech background looking for a change, offering training for new hires.

The company has partnered with other technology providers—Microsoft, Modis, Goanna Solutions, Generation Australia, and MEGT—that will either bring specialists in to help coaching and training new hires or help with recruitment.

Avanade is one of many organisations choosing Adelaide to open new hubs or set up local headquarters. In February 2022, the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) announced a technology hub in Adelaide with plans to hire 150 technology specialists in five years. PwC has already hired 300 people for its Adelaide office, with plans to hire a further 1,700.

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