Case Studies

Butane Spheres

Gecko Robotics was procured to take on an NDT inspection of a Butane Sphere that would have otherwise needed extensive days and rope access to be completed.

UT Readings


UT Readings

Dense UT readings


Readings per Sqft

Two inspectors on the inspection



Inspection completed with one robot



Inspection completed with one shift



A robotic inspection was performed by the Gecko Robotics Inspection Team (GRIT) in just one 12-hour shift with a pair of NDT inspectors and a TOKATM robot. The TOKA robot was utilized to perform Rapid Ultrasonic Gridding (RUG), a nondestructive examination method, in all unobstructed areas, while inspectors were able to do handheld around nozzles and the support beam. Without the use of either scaffolding or rope access; ground access only.

External Rapid Ultrasonic Gridding Inspection

The client had attempted magnetic crawlers in past inspections with no luck. Previous crawlers would slide off the sphere and had to be kept on-track with a rope access crew. With Gecko’s TOKA robot, permanent rare-earth magnet wheels, with payloads upwards of 150lbs per wheel, and high-definition maneuvering cameras, help navigate a variety of logistical challenges.

Upon completion of Gecko’s inspection, 641K A-scan thickness readings were intuitively stitched together to visually display the sphere’s interactive, C-scan corrosion map. At 178 readings per square foot, Gecko was able to provide data-dense gridding over the 40.5ft (13.9m) diameter sphere, allowing the customer to plan and locate repairs needed immediately. Previous manual inspections of the butane sphere lacked the ability to provide a high grade RBI confidence score. Using RUG methods and Gecko’s TOKA inspection robot, the client was able to improve confidence in today’s decisions, and establish a comprehensive baseline for future inspections.

Butane Sphere

Gecko's TOKA robot is a wall-climbing robot with up to 96 transducers, speeds of 60' (18m) per minute, and 4 HD visual cameras.

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