Gecko Robotics is disrupting the NDT technology space. And what is the secret to our success? It’s technology and top talent. Geckos propel the development of robotic and software platforms to give clients a unique inspection experience that is more efficient and accurate than traditional methods. Notably, our NDT experts and technicians have the knowledge and experience needed to solve the complex problems that plague the industry by developing new and innovative inspection solutions.
Jose Aparicio: NDT Technology Manager
Meet Jose Aparicio, Gecko’s lead NDT subject matter expert. With a background in metallurgical engineering and over a decade of NDT experience, his mission is to develop inspection solutions for identifying and quantifying the most insidious damage mechanisms. He is the co-creator of Gecko’s latest technology, Tri-Lateral Phased Array. We sat down with Jose to learn why he chose to be a Gecko, why he got into NDT, and what it takes to be successful.
Why did you join Gecko Robotics?
"Gecko is a great family. I think what got me here is the innovation. And it's a new school of thought for inspections, a new type of business focussed on robots. It’s a great challenge for me to incorporate my expertise with robots - that's what I wanted.
I started working at Gecko in November 2019. As I mentioned, it's a new school inspection company. It's a family and a very strong, professional company that helps you and supports you in so many ways. And that’s the main thing.”
Describe a typical day at Gecko.
“A typical day working at Gecko… I get here before seven and check my email. Check on whatever has happened from the previous day, then set up my meetings. I usually think to myself, 'how can I help Gecko innovate?' I write down my ideas and set them in motion. If there is something going on in the field, I like to check the resulting data and review reporting. If I have a pending training with a technician, I call them and walk them through it.”
What is the best part about working at Gecko Robotics?
“I think innovating is my favorite part. So, helping Gecko to get there is rewarding. Also, they [the team] support each other. You can put your ideas there on the table and you have so many people that can help in so many ways. That support, that’s the best part - supporting each other. That's why we are a family.”
What do you think it takes to be a successful NDT Technician at Gecko?
“I'm looking for people that have experience in NDT. You know, they have to feel the passion for what they do. You have to constantly keep reading, keep investigating what is going on as far as innovation, and be ready to apply whatever is in the market to give clients solutions. But, they have to feel passionate too. It's not going to come easy. You have to show up. The NDT career is a long path. It seems to be very short but it's very long.
The best thing that a [NDT] technician can do is just make calls. They [client] already trust you. They trust you as a specialist. You know more about the damage than the client does. You're a specialist for him. You have to show him that you are able to find whatever damage he's expecting to have.”
How does Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence contribute to NDT?
"Artificial intelligence and machine learning are a part of NDT because clients are looking for safety. When you add that factor there, you reduce the exposure. So, that's one thing. And they're looking for productivity as well so they can save money. That's the two key factors of machine learning and artificial intelligence. And I think that it's getting there. There's still some work to do, but that's why we're here."
What is one advantage of a Gecko Robotics inspection?
“One advantage is speed. In an outage, for a boiler, they [inspectors] can only inspect probably 10 tubes manually in a couple of weeks. So, for Gecko to be able to inspect a full box of a boiler in three days, and look for that specific, small damage is a great advantage.”
And lastly, where do you see Gecko in the next 10 years?
"I think we're [Gecko Robotics] going to be strong in the future. We're pursuing remote technology and I think that's going to contribute to the future to solve problems for clients. I think Gecko in the next 10 years is going to change how guidance and facilities see inspections. We are involved in that. The way I am helping Gecko is to try to get there, as far as technology and machine learning goes, as fast as possible. Because of my expertise, I am the person who is joining those things together - inspections and solving problems."
Wanna be a Gecko? Check out the open roles on our careers page!