The need for airship repairs can quickly become problematic for airline companies. A significant amount of time and resources are spent working on tedious repair tasks. Further, with even the tiniest of holes, much of the craft’s efficiency is lost, so keeping it air-tight is of the utmost importance.
But what if there was a device capable of automatically performing both hole detection and repair at the same time?
The “Spider,” developed by Lockheed Martin’s research division, Skunk Works, can perform such a feat. The Spider is a combination of two units that are positioned both inside and outside the airship. The device works by flashing a bright light on the outside of the craft, which the unit on the inside detects to identify the presence of a hole. The Spider then applies a patch to the hole and sends a before and after image to the control center to verify the fix.
If one of the robots suffers a failure, Lockheed says that the search patterns of the other unit scan be adjusted in real time to make up for the loss.
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