ROBOTIC inspection technology is set to be transformed thanks to an inspection crawler capable of climbing vertically on stainless steel, plastic, glass, and other surfaces that existing magnetic crawlers cannot manage.
Thanks to a new partnership between global robotics company Nexxis and Invert Robotics, the new technology that was originally designed for use in the dairy industry will now be available across multiple industries.
Nexxis, which has its headquarters in Perth, specialises in developing tailored robotic solutions to address industry challenges and offers research and development, rapid prototyping and manufacturing, robotic training and support.
Dublin-based Invert Robotics is a commercial technology provider that was spun out of the University of Canterbury’s School of Engineering in Christchurch, New Zealand, where the unique suction technology was originally developed.
While robotic inspection technology has existed for some time, most products rely on magnetics to navigate vessels and complex structures where hazards such as confined space entry or working at heights exist.
Magnetic crawlers are commonly integrated with sensor technology for asset integrity inspections in the oil and gas, mining, petrochemical and other industries. In particular, they are gaining popularity to manage hazardous area and confined space inspections of vessels and pipelines.
Nexxis founder and CEO Jason De Silveira said the Invert Robotics platforms opened the way for other industries, including food and beverage manufacturers, to carry out inspections in a safer way without the need for plant shutdowns.
“Industries have had limited ability to conduct comprehensive asset integrity inspection using robotic inspection on exotic non-ferromagnetic surfaces to date,” Mr De Silveira said.
“This unique technology opens the way for safer, faster and smarter inspection options for clients across a variety of industries including renewables
“We are very excited about this collaboration and working with Invert Robotics to deliver the outcomes that a lot of industries are seeking.”
Under the partnership, Nexxis will provide a range of Invert Robotics platforms to cater for different sized assets and applications but will also use its expertise and engineering capabilities to tailor the platforms to specific customer needs.
Mr De Silveira said customising solutions would enable industries to overcome safety, productivity, accuracy, and efficiency issues associated with using people to carry out inspections and testing.
Neil Fletcher, Managing Director of Invert Robotics, said Nexxis’ expertise in the provision and support of industrial robotic solutions was globally renowned.
“Nexxis has significant experience developing robotic solutions focused on delivering outcomes to help industries achieve better results and we’re delighted to be able to leverage that expertise,” he said.
“As well as its high level of technical expertise, Nexxis has a track record and is known for its dedicated training and support divisions to ensure successful client outcomes. They are ideally equipped to help take Invert Robotics’ technology to the world.”