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Rolls Royce May Use Robotic Snakes to Aid Engine Repairs and Maintenance

Updated: Feb 24, 2023

Aerospace engine maker Rolls-Royce is exploring the idea of using robots inspired by snakes and cockroaches to help it inspect and repair engines in the future, the company’s researchers said at the recent Farnborough International Air Show in July. The company wants to use the robots which will enter the engines to perform the task. They are currently planning on using a snake-style robot to deposit a set of miniature robots into the centre of an engine to carry out a visual inspection. The mini robots are inspired by cockroaches. James Kell, on-wing technology specialist at Rolls, said they could help get the time taken to carry out a visual inspection of hard to reach areas down from hours to minutes. The plan is part of wider efforts by Rolls to carry out as much maintenance as possible while the engine is on the wing of a plane. Removing engines from wings is disruptive for airlines, doing more maintenance while the engines are still on the wing saves time and money for airlines and also cuts costs for Rolls-Royce as the maintenance provider.

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