Success story: Kelluu

Our dear customer Kelluu Ltd. develops unmanned, autopilot airships in Joensuu, Eastern-Finland. Yes, that’s right - robot airships!

Kelluu’s unique airships can navigate hundreds of kilometres. They fly for hours sharing a constant stream of data to the cloud.

Kelluu’s airships can help energy companies monitor power lines and spot any small problems before they become big issues. In Finland we have thousands of kilometres of power lines that are susceptible to malfunctions caused by, for example, snowfall or fallen trees. Kelluu airships are the future option for current solutions, such as expensive helicopters or impractical quad bikes.

Developing an entirely new kind of unmanned aerial vehicle is a major task.The Kelluu team focuses their energy and aeronautical engineering knowhow on developing the airship itself. But as there was a lot more to figure out in the operations of the airships they needed some help. We had the honour to be chosen as Kelluu’s technology partner from a diverse group of technology companies.

According to Jouni Lintu, the CEO of Kelluu, having the most multi-talented team, and the best communications and understanding of what they needed from us were the most important reasons for us being chosen as their tech partner. (Thanks for the kind words Jouni!)

So we rolled up our sleeves and got to work. Among the things we’ve contributed has been a dedicated cloud service on top of Google Cloud Platform (using Kubernetes it’ll scale for the amount of airships we’re thinking of) and code for the connectivity, imaging and telemetry from the actual flying vessel. In addition to that, we have built tools for route planning, data extraction and computer vision.

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Jouni, the Kelluu CEO, gave us a customer satisfaction score of 9 (out of ten, level 10 being utopia, he explained). Jouni also gave us a flattering 10 (out of ten) NPS score, meaning he would be 100 % sure to recommend us to you.

"The guys working for the project clearly know what they are doing, they understand the big picture and the work estimates are accurate", Jouni says.
"Montel’s team is really at the top end of high-quality development", he adds.

Our team of five senior level software professionals working with Kelluu has been very enthusiastic for the collaboration. I asked them about the reasons for that and got some nice answers I want to share:

Our senior software developer Toni found the project especially fun since it had some resemblance to his dear hobby, RC airplanes. Ville, our senior DevOps engineer responsible for most of the cloud magic for the project, was happy to work with Kelluu guys since they all communicate with the same Joensuu accent. Jukka, another one of our senior software developers working in the project, pointed out that apart from the project being technically very interesting, it is also very inspiring to work with a startup that has a strong getting things done mentality. Mario, our senior software developer, gave shoutouts to the interesting challenges of multiple interrelated microservices having to work perfectly together without any issues or surprises. (We really don’t want to crash those airships!)

For myself, creating something that acts and lives in the “real world” is very motivating. On the code side I focused on computer vision and interacting with the camera control hardware. This gave me the possibility to make use of my past experiences with interactive installations and other media art projects. Finally a good chance to fire up OpenCV! The Kelluu team does not mess around - the hardware is top of the line. Helping to choose from the options and later integrating them to real use has been a lot of fun.

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