The future aeronautical mechanics will be micro robots that will assess and maintain our aeroplane engines.
Harvard and Nottingham Universities worked with Rolls Royce to prototype tiny robots that can roam their engines to identify maintenance issues. The team are aiming to reduce the time it takes to remove the engine for such inspections. This current practice can take up to five hours.
Our exciting vision shows how robotics could be used to revolutionize the future of engine maintenance. Bringing another element of our IntelligentEngine vision to life, we have teamed up with academics Harvard University to demonstrate potential future technology of collaborative ‘swarm’ robots that crawl through the insides of an engine.
Each robot is only 45mm long and weighs 1.5g. With an added camera they are currently too large to access all parts of the engine. The technology is now being innovated by Rolls Royce on a smaller scale, to allow for future applications.
In addition, the team are developing robots that can repair the damage to an engine’s compressor blades. As a result this could save even more time and cost by not removing the equipment.
This is amazing application of robotics and future technologies. It does raise the question as to what will happen in the future to all the highly skilled engineers that currently carry out these tasks…?
Read more about Rolls Royce here