VIDEO: AI Tech May Aid Navy Repair Operations

One of Gecko Robotics’ TOKA Series line of robots | Image by Gecko Robotics

Gecko Robotics has invented a series of AI-powered robots capable of performing non-destructive inspections, which may revolutionize U.S. Navy repair operations.

Gecko Robotics’s TOKA Series of robots, equipped with magnetic wheels, are capable of climbing the walls of structures while performing ultrasonic scans of carbon steel equipment from multiple angles at speeds of up to 60 feet per minute, according to the company’s website. The robots collect millions of data points on the structural integrity of an object while an AI platform forms maps and models based on that data.

“Wall climbing robots perform non-destructive testing inspections on tanks, boilers, pressure vessels, piping and more. Using specially-designed sensor payloads, the robots can inspect wall thickness, pitting, and many other forms of degradation,” reads the company’s website. “Our robots collect 1,000x more information with continuous data capture at speeds an average of 10x faster than previous methods.”

Experts believe that this model will remedy the “limited,” “resource intensive,” and “dangerous” traditional methods of inspection and provide more informed repair and maintenance efforts.

Doug Philippone, co-founder of Snowpoint Ventures, told Fox News that such technology will be particularly useful for the nation’s Navy, noting that traditional methods can be costly for “no particular reason.”

“Using advanced AI techniques, they can now detect exactly where these things will fail,” said Philippone, per Fox. “You can prevent catastrophes. You can do smart maintenance.”

Philippone noted some other AI companies under his portfolio, including Shield AI, which created an autonomous drone, known as the V-BAT, that can operate with disrupted communications in areas like warzones, and Merlin Labs, which created an AI that can function as a second pilot in cargo aircraft. Despite the autonomous advantages these technologies present, he said that a human must still maintain control.

“All of this technology should assist humans in making decisions, not make the decisions for them,” said Philippone, per Fox. “I firmly believe that you need a human to do that to really encapsulate the risks of those decisions.”

The use of AI has been steadily growing, with some Texas state agencies also beginning to adopt its use. The state’s Artificial Intelligence Advisory Council, established in June of last year, is tasked with overseeing the use of such technology across state agencies, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

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