The tiny, cockroach-shaped yet cute robots are about 10 millimeters tall and weigh just a few ounces. Outfitted with a camera and optics for 3D scanning, they could be deployed by Rolls-Royce engineers to first inspect the planes, then actually clean debris or perform repairs.
“They could go off scuttling around reaching all different parts of the combustion chamber. If we did it conventionally it would take us five hours; with these little robots, who knows, it might take five minutes,” explained a Rolls-Royce specialist.
The company envisions multiple types of tiny robots that will one day be the aviation repair specialists they need. Pictured above are the SWARM robots, who will be “deposited” in the engine using FLARE, a pair of snake-shaped robots flexible enough to move around an engine.
“While some of these technologies, such as the SWARM robots, are still a long way from becoming an everyday reality, others, such as the remote boreblending robot, are already being tested and will begin to be introduced over the next few years,” said Dr James Kell about the future of this project.
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