Innovation That Matters

Wall-climbing robots

Wall-climbing robots speed up industrial safety checks


Wall climbing robots rapidly scale industrial tanks, using a variety of sensors to rapidly establish safety levels without emptying.

Autonomous robots are becoming ever more present in various industries. Robot ‘snakes’ can inspect piping. UAVs can study the outer walls of airships. And now Gecko Robotics has developed wall-climbing robots to monitor industrial storage tanks.

The robots can inspect boilers, liquid storage tanks, and piping. They also monitor tank walls using eight ultrasonic sensors. These sensors analyse wall thickness, as wall deterioration can be a major factor in devastating industrial leakage. On-board HD cameras also enable visual inspection of specific sites. A proprietary magnetic system propels each robot up a wall. This system is rapid; robots can scale tanks at a rate of 12’ per second.

Ordinarily, if humans are carrying out inspections, tanks require emptying in order for entry. These inspections can be long, costly and dangerous. In addition, scaffolding has to be erected and dismantled and defects can also be missed. With Gecko, robots scale the outside wall of the tanks. Tanks therefore don’t need emptying and additional equipment is not necessary, saving time and lost operating hours. Crucially, human employees don’t have to enter unsafe situations.

The team has also developed Gecko Vision. This machine-learning system analyses all data points to provide a substantial overview of tank wall health. Users receive pinpoint information detailing exactly where weaknesses may be present and to what extent within 12 hours of inspection. Users then inspect these areas using video images.

Gecko Robots are already available for companies looking to inspect their tanks, boilers, and other industrial assets. Pricing depends on the job. Interested parties can therefore contact Gecko Robotics via their website.




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