The ROBAIR aicraft inspection robot is designed to climb on the wings and fuselage of aircraft to inspect rows of rivets and detect loose rivets and cracks

ROBAIR aircraft inspection robot

The robot uses a flexible array of pneumatic suction cups to adapt to surface curvatures to inspect rows of rivets with ultrasound, eddy current, and thermographic NDT techniques.

The ROBAIR climbing robot uses a novel design that employs a hierarchy of universal joints to provide flexibility in the suction cups, robot feet composed of an array of these cups, and the chassis to adapt to the curvature of a fuselage. Upon actuation of the pneumatics, the structure becomes rigid to reduce overturning moments.

The robot carries a Cartesian arm to deploy NDT techniques that include eddy current and ultrasound phased arrays. The arm can be replaced with a heat source and thermographic camera to perform Thermography of the rows of rivets.