Automatic surface inspection

At the dawn of the fourth industrial revolution, more and more businesses and industries are becoming interested in the latest advances in mobile and collaborative robotics with the aim of automating certain repetitive tasks in order to make the faster, more flexible and cheaper. This evolution is unavoidable in multiple sectors, including aeronautics. Therefore, through this project, the aerospace giant Airbus has the ambition to automate the inspection of the quality of the paint and surfaces of aircraft.

Inspecting the state of the surface of a plane is a crucial step before delivering it to the client. Today, these inspections are carried out by hand which is time consuming and can lead to inconsistent results.

This project aimed to automate the process of surface inspection on planes through the use of robotic arms with on-board optical sensors. Requiring the development of a simulator, a data storage solution as well as advanced algorithms for detecting defects and generating trajectories for the robots. This project was a considerable challenge, and was innovating and formative for the students.

The team of students worked together to conceive the modules, interfaces and networks necessary for this project which was publicly presented in the 22nd of February 2019.

Airbus is a world leader in aeronautics, space and associated services, with a staff of around 134 000 people spread over 180 sites around the world and a turnover of 64 billion euros and an order book of over 7 000 planes.


NovaLynx is a designer of industrial solutions, particularly through the impleentation of robotic arms.

Created in 2012, this company quickly became a major participant in the Toulouse industrial sector.


Education Partner

UPSSITECH is an internal engineering school that hosts courses that awards the title of engineer in the Université Paul Sabatier (Toulouse). This school is a department with increased autonomy within the Faculty of Sciences and Engineering.

The specialty “Robotics and Interactive Systems” (SRI) trains and certifies high-level, scientific and technical engineers with double competences in computing and automation, capable of conceiving, developing and integrating complex systems using robotic and interactive technologies. The general and specific competences acquired around these systems are integrated, over the course of the course, on a variety of complex virtual or physical systems. Interaction is crucial as these broad robotic systems (transport systems, space, production, etc.) interact with variable and evolving environments (humans, mobile systems, ambient technologies). These competences, acquired by the graduates, allow them to integrate all of the traditional engineering sectors beyond those of robotics and interaction.

Members of the educational team - PGE 2019

Agnan de Bonneval
Cyril Briand
Patrick Danès
Isabelle Ferrané
Frédéric Lerasle
Julien Pinquier
Michel Taïx
Philippe Truillet
Julien Vanderstraten

External links