Sun. Oct 1st, 2023
    GE Aerospace Develops Worm-Like Robot for Aircraft Inspection and Repairs

    GE Aerospace has unveiled a revolutionary worm-like robot, called Sensiworm, capable of inspecting and repairing jet engines. This Soft ElectroNics Skin-Innervated Robotic Worm is designed to provide an extra set of eyes and ears for service operators as they investigate the inner workings of aircraft. By utilizing this soft robot, GE aims to minimize downtime, perform less invasive inspections, and potentially carry out repairs in the future.
    The company draws parallels between the Sensiworm’s role in aerospace engineering and the way soft robotics have enabled minimally intrusive surgical procedures. Similar to how patients benefit from this technology, the worm-like robot can enable less invasive inspections and repairs of jet engines without the need for disassembly.
    Resembling an inchworm, the Sensiworm can crawl across various engine components, including rotating wind turbine blades. Equipped with suction-cup feet, it can automatically sense and avoid obstacles and access areas where conventional tools may be hindered by gravity. Additionally, it can measure the thickness of thermal barrier coatings and even detect gas leaks.
    GE Aerospace developed the Sensiworm with the support of SEMI Flex Tech, a public-private coalition funded by the US Army to advance flexible electronics. While GE hasn’t provided information on the robot’s current development stage or expected deployment timeline, the company asserts that this innovative robot has the potential to grant operators virtually unrestricted access for engine inspections.
    The Sensiworm represents a significant step toward enhancing aircraft maintenance and repair processes. By providing live video feed and real-time data on the condition of engine parts, this soft robot can revolutionize the inspection and maintenance procedures of jet engines.
    Source: GE Aerospace.