Robots can handle aircraft inspection - Press Release

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Successful field trials have proven that it is possible to have a robot climb on an airplane for inspection purposes. – We are one of the first in the world to succeed with this task, says George Nikolakopoulos, Professor of Robotics and Automation at Luleå University of Technology.

Luleå University of Technology is one of five partners in the project CompInnova, a prestigious Horizon 2020 project within the call Future and Emerging Technologies (FET). The objective of the project is to develop an innovative inspection methodology for any type of composite aircraft structures.

The mission for the research group of Automatic Control was both futuristic and very challenging; to design and develop the mechanical, electrical and software components for a Vortex Robot, a robot that, through optimized air suction, can climb on surfaces regardless of their curvature and inclination. Now, this difficult mission has almost been accomplished, during field trials on a full Boeing 737 at Cranfield University.