The World's Largest Particle Accelerator Is Inspected By Robots

Currently, the Large Hadron Collider insider CERN has two robots that monitor the vast tunnel system.

(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

In the depths of Switzerland, the CERN physics laboratory has the equipment necessary to make "The Flash" universe a reality. Inside the CERN facility exists the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's largest particle accelerator.

The underground tunnel is a 17-mile long circle responsible for colliding particles together at the speed of light. With a structure this large, it's hard to make sure every inch is inspected and updated. A task of this scale could certainly benefit from some robotic assistance.

TIM, or the Train Inspection Monorail, ensures the world's largest and most powerful particle accelerator is safe and up-to-date. Traveling at a top speed of 3.7 mph (6 km/h), the robot inspects the structural integrity, oxygen percentage, communication bandwidth and temperature. Radiation mappings are generated by TIM's onboard radioprotection probe. TIM also can relay visual and infrared pictures to the tunnel's operators.

TIM uses the monorail tracks attached to the LHC ceiling to travel through the extensive structure. The monorail system was originally constructed to bring supplies and transport workers throughout the Large Electron-Positron Collider (LEP), LHC's predecessor. The LEP was dismantled in 2001 for the LHC upgrade.

Currently, the LHC has two TIM robots monitoring the vast tunnel system. Check out the robot inspectors in action in the video below.

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