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Rolls-Royce Focuses on Robots for Engine Maintenance

Rolls-Royce teamed up with academics from the University of Nottingham and Harvard University Rolls-Royce to demonstrate how robotics could be used to revolutionise the future of engine maintenance.

At the recent Farnborough international airshow, the company brought a new element of its IntelligentEngine vision to life by teaming up with academics from the University of Nottingham and Harvard University to discuss and demonstrate a range of potential future technologies. The technologies included snake’ robots, which work their way through the engine like an endoscope, to swarm robots that crawl through the insides of an engine. The IntelligentEngine vision was introduced ls-Royce at the Singapore Airshow earlier this year.

The technologies on display included swarm robots, a set of collaborative, miniature robots, each around 10mm in diameter which would be deposited in the centre of an engine via a ‘snake’ robot and would then perform a visual inspection of hard to reach areas by crawling through the engine.

Other technologies that attracted attention were Inspect robots, a network of ‘periscopes’ permanently embedded within the engine, enabling it to inspect itself using the periscope cameras to spot and report any maintenance requirements, remote boreblending robots, a robotic boreblending machine that can be remotely controlled by specialist engineers, and Flare, a pair of ‘snake’ robots that are flexible enough to travel through an engine.

“The advancements we are making in robotics are a great example of us bringing our IntelligentEngine vision to life,” said Richard Goodhead, Rolls-Royce, Senior Vice President – Marketing.

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