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The Next Evolution in Energy Efficiency


Our Story

Grand Forks, North Dakota

The story behind Tau Drones’ work begins at UND with Prakash Ranganathan, assistant professor of electrical engineering. Ranganathan developed a thermal imaging-based AI system in partnership with Dunlevy as part of the former ResearchND program.

Ranganathan commends his research team and credits their role in the ResearchND project, including several graduate students and postdoctoral fellows: Debanjan Sadhukhan, Niroop Sugunarai, Youness Arjoune and Sai Peri. Other collaborators include Michael Nord, assistant director of Energy and Continuous Improvement Services from UND Facilities & Management, and UND professors David Flynn and Gautham Krisnamoorthy.

The process has continued to evolve and now focuses on semi-automated energy audits.

Tau Drones combines Dunlevy’s UAS background with Ranganathan’s work on Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics to understand the energy consumption profile of buildings. The company takes this combination of elements to scan buildings and sense heat loss.

The drone uses waypoints to regulate its flight patterns. Once the waypoints are put in by the drone operator, the building is scanned to identify where heat loss is occurring, and the data is used to determine recommendations and cost savings.

The information can then be given to building managers to help them make decisions to weatherize the building.

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