Bug Blog

Spider Robots Being Used To Fix Airships

I guess people did not give up on giant blimps once the Hindenburg crashed. Aeronautical researchers seem to think that blimp or airship travel will become a major form of transportation in the future once a few bugs are worked out. A tech team at Lockheed/Martin has developed a way in which holes in an airship could be patched up within minutes while the airship is in flight.

The team has named this repairing device the Self Propelled Instrument for Airship Damage, Evaluation and Repair, or SPIDER. The device looks to be modeled after a spider too since it has eight legs. This device can travel several miles in distance a day. The SPIDER can travel around the body of an airship quickly while flashing lights at possible holes in need of repair. This method is a major improvement over the older methods used to check for holes in an airship. And it may be due entirely to this SPIDER technology that airships will make a comeback.

Why are so many robots modeled after arachnids? Is there an advantage to the “spider” design?