Rolls-Royce is exploring how robotics could be used to “revolutionize the future of engine maintenance.” The company says this is bringing another element of their IntelligentEngine vision to life. They have teamed up with academics at Harvard University to demonstrate potential future technology of collaborative ‘swarm’ robots that crawl through the insides of an engine.
Each robot measures around 10mm in diameter which would be deposited in the center of an engine via a ‘snake’ robot and would then perform a visual inspection of hard to reach areas by crawling through the engine. These robots would carry small cameras that provide a live video feed back to the operator allowing them to complete a rapid visual inspection of the engine without having to remove it from the aircraft.
The robotic technologies have the potential to offer significant benefits for customers by reducing the cost of engine maintenance, increasing the availability of an engine and ensuring any maintenance required is completed as quickly as possible.
See the Roll-Royce press release here.