When landing or taking off in a plane, the only things you want to see on the runway are lights and stripes. Foreign Object Debris (FOD), the stuff that can get sucked into engines or even flatten a plane's tires, has become the focus of several new technologies that are setting out to remove the bad stuff. Why do we care? Because some of these technologies call not only for little sensors mounted on runway lights, but also for robots that will cruise out, pick up the debris, and dispose of it as found in the Xsight system from Trex Enterprises. Others, like QinetiQ
Airport Technologies' debris system, displays debris on screen at the airport's
tower. Whatever the solution, we say: bring on the runway bots and safety.