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Comau, Leonardo Develop Autonomous Aeronautical Testing

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GRUGLIASCO, Italy, March 13, 2024 — Automation technology company Comau is working with aerospace company Leonardo to develop and test a self-adaptive robotic solution for the autonomous inspection of helicopter blades measuring up to seven meters. 
The jointly created self-adaptive robotic solution is able to autonomously inspect helicopter blades up to seven meters. Courtesy of Comau.
The jointly created self-adaptive robotic solution is able to autonomously inspect helicopter blades up to seven meters. Courtesy of Comau. 
Using a combination of cognitive robotics, vision systems, and artificial intelligence, the companies jointly developed the solution to autonomously perform tapping tests and multispectral surface inspection along the non-linear blade. As the blades are mechanically stimulated by the robot, the sound response is both recorded and photographed using a multispectral camera in order to detect hidden and superficial defects. Structural integrity is measured and verified with a granularity exceeding thousands of points.

The system automatically senses the environment, first localizing the blade, which has been placed on its supports by the operator, detecting any obstacles and then it calculates both cycle time optimization and collision free path planning. The robot operates on a simple user interface based on low code programming, allowing the robot to be programmed with simple commands. 

The smart inspection solution was initially developed as a joint pilot project and was tested on-site in Anagni, Italy. The partners said that the system may now move to another site to deliver enhanced capabilities for maintenance, repair, and overhaul services.


Published: March 2024
Glossary
machine vision
Machine vision, also known as computer vision or computer sight, refers to the technology that enables machines, typically computers, to interpret and understand visual information from the world, much like the human visual system. It involves the development and application of algorithms and systems that allow machines to acquire, process, analyze, and make decisions based on visual data. Key aspects of machine vision include: Image acquisition: Machine vision systems use various...
Businessmachine visionAIroboticsautomationaeronauticalaerospaceComauLeonardoEurope

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