Gecko Robotics (YC W16) Builds Robots to Automate Infrastructure Inspections


Gecko Robotics is a company launching out of our Winter 2016 class that develops and operates robots to automate infrastructure inspections. Today, Gecko is focusing on power plant inspections.

Plants are required to shut down at least once a year to check for damage to their boilers. To do these inspections, crews install 150 foot tall scaffolds and climb up the walls in search of damaged areas in need of repair. These inspections are slow, inaccurate and dangerous. A typical inspection takes several days, and every hour a power plant is down costs tens of thousands of dollars -- in aggregate, power plant shutdowns cost power plants some $12 billion a year.

The Gecko solution is to send certified inspectors robots into these confined, dirty, and dangerous places.

TechCrunch's Sarah Buhr interviewed Gecko for a story published this week:

"Gecko’s proprietary magnetic adhesion technology works much like the sticky foot of a gecko, allowing its robots to crawl up walls to inspect for damage along the way.

A human would normally be the checker, but that presents an often dangerous situation. According to Gecko, most plants must shut down at least once a year to check for damage to the boiler. To do these inspections crews install 150-foot scaffolds and climb up the walls in search of areas in need of repair. On top of that, inspections can take up to seven days, with plants losing up to $1 million per day, says Gecko.

But for $50,000 to $100,000 Gecko deploys robots to do the work of human inspectors, saving time and money in the process."

Read the full story and see a video of the Gecko machine here.