Helping to keep the world’s dairy products safe through the use of robotic inspection equipment, Invert Robotics continues to push to boundaries of technology.

Created in Canterbury in 2010 as the result of a collaboration between Powerhouse Ventures and the University of Canterbury, Invert Robotics has grown to deliver services throughout New Zealand, Australia and Europe.

The business has effectively revolutionised the way in which tanks, silos and powder driers are inspected. By using climbing robot-based systems, the need for people to enter confined spaces and work from ropes and scaffolding has been eliminated

Q&A James Robertson (CEO)

How important is it to innovate?
Our novel technology and innovative service is critical. It is the foundation upon which our entire business plan and value proposition is built. The result of our innovation to date is that we have created procedures that have resulted in safer working conditions, safer equipment and ultimately safer food products, which can only be a good thing.

How did you get the idea or concept for your business? Did you envisage success from the outset?
The University of Canterbury runs an entrepreneurship program called Entré. During my time as a student at UC I was involved with Entré in an attempt to find a commercial use for a new suction cup they had invented. While we don’t use that suction cup, that process planted the seed
and identified a client problem that needed solving.

Success is never guaranteed, particularly in our case, as we were attempting to be the first in the world to climb into stainless steel vessels.

What is something that motivates you?
Enjoying what my team and I do is a big part of my motivation. We get the chance to work in all sorts of places, in all sorts of industries and work on some really tricky and interesting problems

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