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Video: Meet the Giant Robot That Builds Boeing’s Airplane Wings

The distinctive winglet on the second Boeing 737 MAX airplane being built is shown on the assembly line in Renton, Wash. On Thursday, March 3, 2016

The distinctive winglet on the second Boeing 737 MAX airplane being built is shown on the assembly line in Renton, Wash. On Thursday, March 3, 2016 // Ted S. Warren/AP

Robots do all sorts of jobs for us these days, from vacuuming our floors to keeping us company. One giant robot, named Panel Assembly Line or PAL, sounds friendly, but its job is to construct wings for 737 airplanes.

PAL sits at 20 feet tall inside a Boeing factory and helps build 42 airplanes per month, that's about two sets of wings per day 

"What this line does, it builds up our upper and lower wing panels that build up our wing box on our 737 wings," said Greg Beltz, senior manager of PAL. "At the rates we're at right now, we install 44,000 fasteners a day." 

This means PAL's human colleagues no longer have to clamp and rivet together wings by hand, which was a previously injury-prone task.


To learn more, check out the video below from Wired

By Caitlin Fairchild October 19, 2016

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