A group of engineers from New Zealand have started a small start-up company named Invert Robotics. Their specialty? Robots that inspect industrial facilities. The engineers, originally from the University of Canterbury, patented the world's first climbing robot. The robot (pictured in the video below) can check industrial tanks for cracks, whilst an inspector controls it from a remote location. This means health and safety inspectors don't have to put their health or lives in danger. In turn, identifying unstable structures within industrial tanks will ensure that a business preserves the health, safety, and wellbeing of its employees
The robot uses sensors to maneuver around a tank whilst sending a high definition video stream to the screen the operator has in their possession. According to Scoop, the old way of doing this would be letting inspectors abseil down an industrial tank and survey any damage that might have occurred to the innards.
Now, what is being called a "multi-billion euro turnover company" is seeking the technology. The strange bit is that they are not being named as of yet.
Invert Robotics, James Robertson, told Scoop: "To be sought out by this European company, who could find no equivalent technology anywhere else in the world, is a massive vote of confidence for Invert Robotics and the team that has supported and guided us." The engineers are also focusing on the European dairy market next due to their successes of inspecting industrial dairy tanks in New Zealand. "We have been perfecting our inspection robots, working with trans-Tasman dairy companies, and over the past5 four years, we have carried out more than 250 inspections. We know we have a product that is truly market changing."
Elsewhere in the robotics world, SoftBank Robotics America is getting their Pepper robot ready for consumers to start tinkering with. Mastercard has jumped on the bandwagon and introduced an application that would assist with making digital payment to a merchant. Pepper will assist people when making purchases at a store and facilitate the digital payment.
"Consumers have come to expect personalized service, customized offers and simple and seamless processes both in-store and online. The app's goal is to provide consumers with more memorable and personalized shopping experience beyond today's self-serve machines and kiosks, by combining Pepper's intelligence with a secure digital payment experience via MasterPass," said Tobias Puehse, vice president, innovation management, Digital Payments & Labs at MasterCard.
The developers behind the Pepper are allowing other companies to see what they can improve the robot with, and MasterCard seems to be the first company that is keen.