Wall-climbing robots are coming to Europe to inspect critical infrastructure. Gecko Robotics Inc. today announced a three-year collaboration with Siemens Energy's European Field Service organization to market and perform ultrasonic inspections across the continent.
The companies said they will help “strengthen critical infrastructure and transform how installed equipment is inspected and maintained.” Gecko Robotics and Siemens plan to jointly develop new technologies and services to serve industries including pulp and paper, conventional and renewable power generation, and oil and gas.
“Over the past year, we've worked closely with experts from Siemens Energy to understand the value and impact that the collaboration of our companies can create for the European energy market,” noted Ryan Herman, managing director for Europe at Gecko. “It’s become clear that by coming together to serve these customers we can unlock new data insights and help achieve reliability and efficiency not previously possible.”
Gecko Robotics' robots, software protect assets
Founded in 2013, Gecko Robotics said its robots and software maximize the productivity, reliability, and longevity of the assets that underpin assets in power generation, heavy manufacturing, transportation, and more. The Pittsburgh-based company claimed that its robots can “capture data at orders of magnitude greater scale and fidelity than traditional, manual inspection methods.”
Gecko Robotics’ systems are remote-controlled and equipped with ultrasonic transducers, localization sensors, lasers, and HD cameras. They climb vertically and horizontally, adhering magnetically to an extensive range of equipment types. The robots scan for changes in thickness, cracks, corrosion, blistering, and other forms of degradation.
The robots also include localization technology to pinpoint exact locations on an asset. This allows for accurate inspections that enable businesses to examine corrosion trends over time, predict when failures will occur, and estimate when repairs will be necessary.
Gecko said its asset management software can take collected data and produce a validated report within 24 hours. Inspectors can reduce downtime, ensure that critical repairs are conducted with high confidence, and support informed decisions, it added. The company also said its technology can reduce environmental impacts, workplace injuries, and costs.
Gecko Robotics raised $72 million in Series C funding in March and reportedly plans to establish international headquarters in the United Arab Emirates.
Siemens Energy to expand European inspections
Siemens Energy’s European Field Service organization and Gecko Robotics said they have already completed inspections in Europe. They have supported pulp and paper operations in Poland, a waste-to-energy plant Belgium, food processing in the Netherlands, and power generation in the U.K.
In support of the collaboration, Siemens Energy has established a new Product Competence Center in the Netherlands, with expansion plans underway.
By aligning with Siemens' field service organization, Gecko said it gains a local presence across Europe, access to local technical talent, and the opportunity to work with customers in the region. Siemens Energy said it will hire and train local technicians and customer service personnel across Europe, allowing Gecko Robotics to deliver its technology while adhering to all local safety and labor regulations.