Gecko-Inspired Lizard Bots: The Next Wave in Naval Maintenance

Gecko-Inspired Lizard Bots: The Next Wave in Naval Maintenance

Need to inspect the nooks of a naval destroyer or scale the smokestacks of an aging power plant? Well, forget ropes and scaffolding – the future is lizard robots! According to expert Doug Philippone, these wall-crawling whizzes could revolutionize maintenance for the U.S. Navy.

In an interview with Fox News, the venture capitalist shone a spotlight on Gecko Robotics, makers of tiny robots inspired by geckos. With nimble legs and sticky grippers straight out of nature, their bots clamber up infrastructure to sniff out cracks and damage.

Now before you picture Godzilla rampaging the high seas, these ‘lizards’ are more inquisitive than destructive. Using next-gen AI to analyze surfaces, the robots can pinpoint rust, fractures and other flaws needing repair BEFORE disaster strikes. No need to replace entire sections without knowing their condition like today. That’s some crazy efficiency!



And efficiency means major cost savings down the line. As Philippone notes, the Navy too often takes ships out of duty for pricey dry dock maintenance based on guesswork more than hard data. But what if gecko bots provided digital models first, mapping every inch of a vessel to target only necessary fixes? Now THAT’S smart!

With nimble feet and Doctor Octopus arms, these robots poke into places human inspectors can’t reach – even inside the bowels of an aircraft carrier! Data gets sucked into the cloud and – bam – ship managers know exactly which parts need TLC.

The Navy’s already testing out Gecko’s tech on an assault ship and destroyer after signing a contract last March. So far, so good! The bots have survived trials in the demanding ship environment without falling into the drink.

Still, Philippone cautions that automation shouldn’t replace human oversight completely. Gecko’s gecko tech excels at gathering intel, but ultimately PEOPLE must make the maintenance calls.