Familiar with the story of the Gordian Knot?
Way back in 333 B.C. in the town of Gordia, Turkey (ancient Phrygia, in fact) there was a wagon with a yoke tied to it, with multiple knots tied sooo tightly the knot was impossible to untie. An old prophecy stated that whoever would loose the knot would become the ruler of Asia (modern-day Turkey). Many had tried, but no one succeeded.
Then Alexander the Great came into town, saw the knot, drew his sword, and cut clean through the knot, successfully loosening the knot. He then went on to become the ruler of Asia - and much more.
Sometimes simple solutions are the best solutions.
And a similarly simple solution to a very complex problem has recently come to light with transportation, using robotics.
Currently everything about transportation is complicated: fuel prices are up and up, and the government is pushing electric vehicles (EVs) to reduce reliance on petroleum products, meanwhile people (at least where I live) prefer gas-powered vehicles. And regulations are leaning on industries across the board to ease up on greenhouse gasses. Yet the technology simply hasn't caught up with alternative fuel sources. Case in point, you can't run a paper mill or a steel mill off solar power, nor can you run them off hydrogen fuel (at this point).
That's where robotics come in.
In this report two companies, Gecko Robotics and Rho Impact teamed up to show how robotics, software, and AI can work together to make a serious dent in the bottom line of any pulp and paper mill (and in other industries). Gecko Robotics provides little robots that can scan pipes, stacks, pressure tanks, as well as ships, docks, bridges, and more.
So how do robots help the transportation issue?
First, consider all the pipes, stacks, and tanks in a mill. All these plus more can be measured and checked by Gecko Robotics. These robotics can also get places people can't, while measuring precisely, thereby increasing the efficiency of inspections and optimizing maintenance.
Estimates are that not only could digitization reduce annual emissions in a mill by 46 MMT CO2e (million metric tons equivalent CO2), per the report, but it could also result in a 6% improvement in emissions efficiency. By ONLY using these robotics. Nothing else.
Next - and hold on to your hat - these robotics were tested in three other areas: the petroleum industry, maritime industry, and bridges. "The report claimed that digitizing carbon-intensive infrastructure could reduce emissions enough by a whopping 853 MMT of CO2 annually. This is the equivalent of taking almost two thirds of gas-powered vehicles in the U.S. off the road, according to Gecko Robotics and Rho Impact."
Change nothing, other than using robotics for maintenance, and you've pretty much solved the emissions issue, which is the central theme behind transportation regulations.
Keep it simple.
Instead of bending over backwards, trying to jump through hoops to meet environmental standards for CO2 emissions, use robotics, save money, and reduce emissions a completely different way. (Regulators should be pleased, too.)
Learn more here from Gecko Robotics.