There’s no shortage of dangers in a power plant. One of the most persistent dangers is the inspection of equipment in the plant. Typically, human inspectors are responsible for checking the boilers, tanks, and other equipment in power plants and industrial facilities. The work is hot, dirty, and dangerous.
Pittsburgh-based startup Gecko Robotics offers wall-climbing robots as a safer way to handle these equipment check-ups. Gecko Robotics co-founder Jake Loosararian claims that while power plant inspection-related deaths are not as well documented as they need to be, estimates are between 20-30 deaths per year. The company is confident its technology can help lower this number — several high profile investors seem to agree.
Gecko Robotics has raised $7 million in funding from a series of investors, Founders Fund, The Westly Group, Y Combinator, Mark Cuban, and Justin Kan. Gecko Robotics in March 2016 raised a $120,000 Seed round.
Early on, Gecko Robotics focused on making a robot that could climb and scan boiler walls using ultrasound transducers and an HD visual camera. Now, Gecko Robotics has several types of inspection robots used for different industrial industries and performing a variety of NDE testing methods.
The company states on its site that its wall-climbing robots “perform non-destructive testing on tanks, boilers, scrubbers, piping and more. Using different inspection payloads, the robots can inspect wall thickness, cracking, pitting, and other forms of degradation. With continuous data capture, robots can collect 100x more information while also performing the inspection on average 10x faster than previous methods.”