Stick it to the plane

Invert Robotics innovative surface crawling robot now being used to carry out visual inspection tasks on aircrafts

In the highly competitive world of the aviation industry, aircraft time on the ground leaks money away from airline’s increasingly tight profit margins. Any technology that can help speed up safety inspections is a benefit not only to airlines but also the MRO companies that support them and consequently passengers who avoid delays.

Now a New Zealand company is revolutionising the way in which visual inspections are carried out on aircraft. Invert Robotics has designed an innovative new climbing robot that can adhere to a range of surfaces including aluminium, glass and carbon fibre, even when aircraft are wet or the surface requires upside down inspection.

Initially developed for the dairy/food and drink industry (a sector with lighter regulation) to inspect stainless steel tanks, the system uses a patented suction mechanism which enables it to crawl over almost every inch of an aircraft.

Neil Fletcher, managing director of Invert Robotics explains: “The aviation space was considered from the company’s inception but by focusing on an area with lighter regulation around inspection and maintenance Invert Robotics was able to grow whilst learning and developing the technology. Once it reached sufficient maturity, it caught the attention of the MRO industry.”

To read more about how the system works, read this article.

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