Rolls-Royce is developing snake-like robots with their industrial partners as part of a European research project called MiRoR. New Scientist reports that the robots would be used to maneuver inside jet engines and repair any damage. They would be operated remotely, allowing experts to quickly fix any problems and reduce delays for passengers.
Usually, a plane needs to be taken out of service to strip the engine down, which can cost an airline millions of dollars, so these robots would avoid this large expense. The snake robot would feature a camera to feed back images, and other devices such as a UV laser and a miniature grinding tool. A prototype should be completed by July 2014, according to a MiRoR project engineer.