NASA's Langley Researcher Center will unveil its new seven-ton, two-story tall composite materials robot to the media and research community Monday, Jan. 26.
A number of dignitaries and industry officials are expected to attend the ISAAC (Integrated Structural Assembly of Advanced Composites) commissioning including Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate Acting Deputy Associate Administrator Robert Pearce and NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate Associate Administrator Michael Gazarik.
NASA Langley is one of three places in the world now equipped with this sophisticated precision technology. The other two systems are used for bulk manufacturing of lightweight composite materials for industry, not for research.
ISAAC looks like something out of a Transformers movie – a huge arm that moves and spins to pick up massive heads filled with spools of carbon fibers, then works in preprogrammed patterns to deposit those fibers onto complex forms or molds up to 40 feet long. But instead of transforming from machine to autobot – it can transform 3-D computer drawings and epoxy and fibers into pieces that can fly in the air or be launched into space.
Researchers say the robotic system will play a key role in the development of significantly improved aerospace components. Planes, rockets and other vehicles can use less fuel and carry more if they are made of strong, lighter weight materials.