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How robots and AI could improve sustainability? Gecko Robotics know!

Advanced technologies including robotics and artificial intelligence have the power to significantly curb emissions from multiple high-polluting industries according to a new joint report. Digitizing outdated manual inspection and maintenance practices promises major efficiency and environmental gains.

Authored by infrastructure robotics firm Gecko and sustainability consultancy Rho Impact, the analysis spotlights five prime areas for revamping analog operations. It suggests over 850 million metric tons of CO2 could be eliminated annually by modernizing these carbon-intensive sectors.

That's roughly equivalent to removing nearly two-thirds of America's gas vehicles claims the report. Targeted areas include oil and gas, maritime shipping, pulp and paper, bridge infrastructure, and more.

For example, deploying robots to monitor components could drastically reduce fugitive emissions from pipelines. AI would enable predictive models for preventing failures and leakage events. The firms estimate 556 million tons could be avoided here.

Likewise, robotic ship inspections would maximize the availability of larger and more efficient cargo vessels. Intelligent load planning would also optimize fuel consumption. Together an 11 million ton reduction is possible through data-driven maritime operations.

"Manual methods yield limited data unable to adequately identify critical defects," explained the companies. "Robotic inspections collect comprehensive, detailed data so operators can prioritize maintenance and extend asset lifetimes."

Crucially, the analysis concluded digital transformation hinges on gathering high-quality data at scale regarding real-world infrastructure condition and performance. Humans simply lack the reach and analytical precision of machines.

By contrast purpose-built robotics can rapidly gather millions of visual data points in hazardous environments while machine learning extracts actionable insights for owners. The result is enhanced safety, lifespan and sustainability.

Gecko Robotics specializes in this infrastructure realm while Rho Impact quantified the cascading impacts self-improving technologies could impart across emissions-heavy industries. The report makes a compelling case for digitization as key to both corporate efficiency and protecting the planet.

"Deploying robotics and AI enables easier collection and understanding of the critical data needed to meet global warming's challenge," the firms summarized. "These tools can boost bottom lines while steering industries toward sustainability."

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