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Rolls-Royce announced in July that it is developing tiny “cockroach” robots that can crawl inside aircraft engines to spot and fix problems, according to CNBC.
Engineers for the U.K. automaker said the miniature technology can improve the way maintenance is carried out by speeding up inspections and eliminating the need to remove an engine from an aircraft for repair work to take place.
“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,” said James Kell, technology specialist at Rolls-Royce.
To explore the concept, Rolls-Royce has teamed up with robotics experts at Harvard University and the University of Nottingham in England.
No timeline has been released for when the crawling robots could be in use, but already in development is a “remote bore-blending robot” to fix damage to engine compressor blades that Rolls-Royce said engineers should be using within two years. (Source: CNBC
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