Kiwi firm Invert Robotics unveiled its latest robot at the recent International Federation of Airworthiness (IFA) conference in Dubai, hosted by Emirates Engineering.
Invert Robotics’ remote-controlled climbing robots provide significant efficiency improvements for airlines and the aircraft maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) sector.
A patented suction mechanism enables the robots to adhere to and traverse aircraft surfaces, even when they are wet or upside down. A high-resolution inspection camera records and transmits video images to a ground-based screen for analysis by line-maintenance staff – enabling efficient visual inspections (GVI and DVI) following lightning or bird strike, for example.
Rapid set-up and inspection can reduce schedule delays from more than five hours to less than one hour. The health and safety risks of staff working at height are also eliminated.
Pre-maintenance robotic inspections on the tarmac or in the hangar can provide detailed repair assessments and a record of ‘current state’ for future comparison.
Many labour-intensive MRO processes can now be automated with the addition of ultra-sound and thermographic technology to the robots. This frees up skilled aircraft engineers to do more complex tasks, reducing the time and cost of aircraft maintenance.
The IFA conference from 26-28 November looked at best practices in safety risk management, modern inspection technology, identifying high risk areas in airworthiness, and safety-related digital records within aviation.
“Invert Robotics was delighted to have the opportunity to demonstrate its new robot at a conference workshop moderated by award-winning aeronautical engineer and IFA Vice President for Australasia, Steve Swift,” says Invert Robotics Executive Director Aviation John Blair.