OC Robotics is pleased to announce the signing of a contract with the United States Air Force Research Laboratory to develop and deliver snake-arm robots to reach inside aircraft wings. Snake-arm robots are long, slender, remotely-controlled manipulators, ideal for working in confined spaces such as inspection and maintenance of existing aircraft structures.
OC Robotics is working together with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, USA, to design and develop a non-destructive inspection (NDI) snake-arm robot system for confined and difficult-to-access areas. This project builds on prior AFRL efforts to investigate robotic manipulation of NDI probes including the Surgical Non-Destructive Evaluation project (SuNDE).
This new three year project will develop equipment to help improve availability of both legacy and future aircraft fleets by enabling more inspections to be performed with minimal disassembly or disturbance of structures.
Inspections of USAF aircraft are governed by technical orders that require the inspectors to look for potential damage in a variety of complex locations. This program seeks to reduce costs through the development of minimally invasive tools and techniques that do not require aircraft disassembly for aircraft inspections. This effort offers the potential to increase the speed of inspection; capture critical data; and enable timely analysis and decision making by aircraft structural integrity personnel.
The solution will help provide improved situational awareness and assistance for the aircraft maintenance personnel. The prototype will be a flexible and scalable platform that has the potential to be the base platform for a wide variety of remote access NDE activities.
Monday, April 15, 2013