Robots in the Aerospace Industry

Jul 9, 2013

Robots are often found in the aerospace industry working with larger components. They bring large payloads, incredible accuracy, and a never ending work spirit that makes them the perfect choice for making your aerospace production line more efficient.


It’s a bird, it’s a plane…yes, it is a plane, on which robots have spent count­less hours work­ing! Robots play an impor­tant role in aero­space appli­ca­tions, in both the con­struc­tion of air­craft engines as well as per­form­ing tasks such as assem­bly, drilling, pal­letiz­ing, pick and place, and more. Because of aero­space robots’ reli­a­bil­i­ty, capa­bil­i­ty, and pre­ci­sion, their pop­u­lar­i­ty in the aero­space indus­try is grow­ing. Allied Mar­ket Research report­ed that the glob­al aero­space robot­ics mar­ket was val­ued at $2.9 bil­lion in 2020 and is pro­ject­ed to reach $9.2 bil­lion by 2030.

Even though robots might be gen­er­al­ly asso­ci­at­ed with the auto­mo­tive indus­try or work­ing with tiny elec­tron­ic com­po­nents, they are just as accu­rate in the aero­space indus­try work­ing with larg­er com­po­nents. The out­put vol­ume in aero­space is prob­a­bly low­er, but the same type of repeata­bil­i­ty and pre­ci­sion is demand­ed as in oth­er industries.

Aero­space Robot Applications

Drilling Robots

The task robots are most often used for in aero­space appli­ca­tions is drilling holes into com­po­nents. Thou­sands of holes might need to be drilled into a fuse­lage, for exam­ple, and since the job must be pre­cise, robots are a per­fect choice for con­sis­tent and speedy results. Robots equipped with vision sys­tems can locate where the robot needs to drill on the air­frame. Man­u­al drilling is dif­fi­cult, and main­tain­ing high qual­i­ty is unlike­ly; there­fore, robots are cho­sen to repeat the drilling process an infi­nite num­ber of times, with the same pre­cise results each time.

Not only is the robots’ work more pre­cise, but it is also cost-effec­tive as well. Drilling costs are actu­al­ly reduced when using a robot. Fur­ther, robots save time. A robot can drill a hole in a sin­gle step, where­as it might have tak­en a human coun­ter­part four steps to make the same drill. 

Paint­ing Robots

Paint­ing, anoth­er com­mon task for robots in aero­space, can remove peo­ple from haz­ardous envi­ron­ments. A robot doesn’t require scaf­fold­ing, and instead, with a large work enve­lope, can expand and paint the large part itself. Since the air­frames are mas­sive, mul­ti­ple robots are used for ulti­mate effi­cien­cy for all tasks. Apply­ing sec­ondary encoders affords the oper­a­tor more con­trol over the robot, there­fore achiev­ing a high­er rate of accu­ra­cy on the large components.

Peo­ple don’t real­ize how much they rely on robots when it comes to inspect­ing the air­frames and air­craft they are fly­ing in. Robots look for cracks or de-lam­i­na­tion of com­pos­ites and ensure riv­ets are intact through ultra­son­ic and imag­ing meth­ods, which are non-destructive.

Mate­r­i­al Removal Robots

Robots can also be used for auto­mat­ed fiber place­ment of com­pos­ite fuse­lages. Dur­ing the lay­ing of car­bon fiber strips, accu­ra­cy and qual­i­ty is extreme­ly cru­cial. Robots help elim­i­nate errors made by pre­cise fiber cut­ting and place­ment. They also help reduce the weight of the plane by being so precise. 

Assem­bly Robots

Assem­bly robots can be used for lean indus­tri­al process­es to save time and improve con­sis­ten­cy, while also increas­ing safe­ty. Due to the high­er degree of pre­ci­sion for the aero­space indus­try, vision robots, and oth­er addi­tion­al options are available.

Types of Aero­space Robots


Fanuc Robot­ics pro­vides many robot mod­els suit­ed for aero­space oper­a­tions, like the Fanuc M‑710iB/​45anuc M‑710iB/​45 that can remove coat­ings from aero­space equip­ment. Fanuc’s Learn­ing Vibra­tions Con­trol allows the robot to learn its vibra­tion char­ac­ter­is­tics for high­er accel­er­a­tions and speeds. It col­lects learn­ing data and then opti­mizes the motion to have short­er accel­er­a­tions while keep­ing vibra­tion to a min­i­mum. LVC, in com­bi­na­tion with iRVi­sion and sec­ondary encoders, pro­vides cut­ting-edge new tech­nol­o­gy for oper­a­tions demand­ing high accu­ra­cy and high speed. This type of accu­ra­cy, with low vibra­tion, improves aero­space manufacturing.


KUKA Robot­ics empha­sizes safe­ty in the aero­space indus­try: the slight­est error can cause a huge breach in safe­ty. KUKA’s six-axis robots guar­an­tee pre­ci­sion in clean­rooms, explo­sive areas, uni­form sur­face treat­ment, and com­plex assem­bly tasks. These mul­ti-func­tion­al robots pro­duce opti­mal safe­ty results. 

Get Start­ed with Aero­space Robot­ics with Robots​.com

The demand for robots in the aero­space indus­try will con­tin­ue to grow as our soci­ety becomes more inno­v­a­tive and pro­gres­sive. Robots​.com coor­di­nates with the needs of aero­space com­pa­nies. We pro­vide new or refur­bished robots that can be used for a large vari­ety of these appli­ca­tions. If you are inter­est­ed in buy­ing an aero­space indus­try robot, con­tact Robots​.com online or call 8777626881.

Let's talk!

Request your quick quote today.