Startup Develops Robotic Mapping Tech for MRO

A San Antonio-based startup is using 360-deg. imaging technology mounted to robots to develop GPS for indoor spaces, which is slowly gaining traction within the MRO industry. According to Reckon Point founder and CEO Gabe Garza, the company’s technology can be used for both mapping maintenance operations and tracking materials through the line.

Reckon Point’s mapping technology works through a combination of 3D laser scanners, radio frequency and magnetic sensors, and a precise navigation system, which collect Wi-Fi and magnetic data. The company’s robots are equipped with the technology and drive through an indoor space collecting data, which is processed in Reckon Point’s lab to develop models, positioning and maps.

Garza says that in addition to creating an indoor map view of operations—like it recently completed for San Antonio International Airport—the technology can be used for asset and staff tracking when paired with sensors, wearables or mobile devices. The latter example could be used for safety scenarios such as tracking how long technicians have been exposed to dangerous elements such as toxic materials, chemicals, fumes, vibration and noise.

According to Garza, Reckon Point has seen a lot of interest from aviation stakeholders after exhibiting at MRO Americas last year, including StandardAero—which is located nearby and interested in mapping its operations.

Reckon Point currently has three robots and is looking into building two more robots this year. The first development effort involves building a rough terrain suspension and drivetrain to take the robot off-road, which would allow Reckon Point to scan the exterior of a building and terrain from the ground and provide much higher resolution data from ground level objects. The company is also sponsoring a team out of the University of Texas at San Antonio to develop a stair-climbing robot.

Lindsay Bjerregaard

Lindsay Bjerregaard is managing editor for Aviation Week’s MRO portfolio. Her coverage focuses on MRO technology, workforce, and product and service news for, Aviation Week Marketplace and Inside MRO.