Wall-Climbing Robots to Assess US Navy Amphibious Assault Ship, Destroyers

The US Navy has contracted Gecko Robotics to expand advanced robotic assessments for the service’s amphibious assault ship and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers.

On the project, the Pennsylvania-based firm will leverage its wall-climbing robots and artificial intelligence (AI) software to produce digital models of the vessels.

The approach is expected to optimize maintenance cycle timelines and reduce the amount of time vessels spend in drydock.

Safe and Effective Structure Inspection

The effort builds on the recent approval of Gecko Robotics’ Rapid Ultrasonic Gridding process for US Navy maintenance support, an inspection method that uses data visualization grid maps to isolate images of an entire infrastructure and its corresponding mechanisms.

“We built Gecko Robotics to solve the hardest physical problems facing the world’s most important organizations,” Gecko Robotics Co-Founder and CEO Jake Loosararian stated.

“We are proud to have a mature technology that has been tested and approved by both Navy technical leaders and the sustainment officials charged with reducing the Navy’s maintenance backlog.”

“The sailors of the US Navy have a vital mission in an increasingly complicated geopolitical environment and Gecko stands with them to make sure they have the tools they need to do their jobs safely and effectively.” 

As observers and U.S. Navy Surge Maintenance (SurgeMain) sailors look on, Gecko Robotics Inc. team members maneuver the Toka 4 inspection robot along the starboard side of the Self Defense Test Ship in search of foreign objects on Aug. 24, the third day of the Repair Technology Exercise, or REPTX, at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division. Earlier in the day, the SurgeMain sailors attached powerful magnets, which Parker, Colorado-based Maglogix LLC supplied, to the hull of the ship, just above the water line. (U.S. Navy photo by Eric Parsons/Released)
Gecko Robotics’ ship-scaling robot during a starboard assessment of a US Navy vessel. Photo: Eric Parsons/US Navy

Modernized Structure Assessment

According to Gecko Robotics, its ship-scaling robots and AI-powered software have proven effective in previous work for the US Navy.

“According to the Navy data, Gecko is significantly reducing the lead time and work hours associated with maintenance cycles while increasing the availability of data and finding defects missing through traditional methods,” the company said.

“For example, for one Navy asset, traditional methods captured 100 data points while Gecko’s platform captured more than 4.2 million. Gecko’s products also reduced the lead time required for ship rudder inspection from 11 days to one.”

Gecko Robotics in the US Air Force

In 2022, the company received a $1.5-million contract from the US Air Force to secure the structure of launch facilities for the Sentinel Program, an initiative to modernize the service’s ground-based intercontinental ballistic missile systems.

The company’s technology is also being applied to evaluate other types of assets, such as dams, tanks, refineries, and power plants.

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