GE Aerospace has introduced a new robot called Sensiworm (Soft ElectroNics Skin-Innervated Robotic Worm), designed to enhance aircraft safety. Equipped with a camera, Sensiworm is specifically designed for inspecting airplane parts, such as engines. The robot is capable of crawling through the gaps and curves of an engine, detecting cracks and corrosion, and sending back live video to its human operators.
Current aircraft inspections rely on advanced equipment but face limitations. For instance, a video borescope cannot inspect an entire engine turbine because gravity causes the tip to naturally settle when it is not braced against a structure inside the engine. However, self-propelling robots like Sensiworm provide engineers with greater access, eliminating the need to dismantle an engine for closer inspection. With the help of robots like Sensiworm, service operators can conduct comprehensive on-wing inspections with multiple sets of eyes and ears.
“While the remotely controlled Sensiworm is currently only capable of inspections, GE Aerospace suggests that a future version of the robot will be able to carry out repairs as well,” said Deepak Trivedi, principal robotics engineer at GE Aerospace Research. The development of Sensiworm was made possible through partnerships involving SEMI Flex Tech, the US Army Research Lab, Binghamton University, and UES, Inc.
The final untethered version of Sensiworm is still under development, and no specific deployment date has been announced. However, when it becomes available, it promises to become an effective safety tool for the aircraft industry. This is not the first time that General Electric has worked on robotic worms, having previously built robots for activities such as digging tunnels.
Source: [GE Aviation’s Sensiworm](https://www.roboticsbusinessreview.com/aerospace/ge-aviation-s-sensiworm/)