Kuka’s Snake-arm robot will be showcased at Farnborough Air Show

A high payload KUKA robot equipped with an innovative OC Robotics snake-arm robot will show how it can automate a range of aircraft assembly tasks in confined spaces at the Farnborough International Air Show from July 9-15.

The flexible snake-arm robot neatly solves the problem of gaining access to conventional automation ‘no-go’ areas such as rib bays and wing boxes.

Controlled manually via a joypad or programmed to repeat pre-taught paths using OC Robotics’ proprietary software, the snake-arm requires no external support and can be effortlessly guided through a restricted aperture to carry a variety of end effector tools for performing tasks such as inspection, sealing and swaging.

Its streamlined design means it is not only easy to accurately manoeuvre into position, but there’s also no risk of snagging and causing damage to surrounding sensitive equipment.

KUKA and OC Robotics are working with aerospace partners to develop a range of tool packages that may also be suitable for other applications including deburring, drilling and laser welding.

A snake-arm robot has been installed at the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) where it is being used in a study on the assembly of airframe components made from composite materials.

The snake arm robot will feature on the OC Robotics stand at A11 in Hall 1.