Watch the Robot That Patrols the Large Hadron Collider


Hundreds of feet below the French-Swiss border lays the Large Hadron Collider. The 17 miles of strange tunnels accelerate particles at close to the speed of light before smashing them together to see what happens.

By Matthew Gault | MOTHERBOARD

That’s an oversimplification of a complicated process, one where a lot can go wrong. Someone has to monitor the miles of concrete, plastic, steel, and glass below the earth to avoid disaster and keep science moving. Someone does, someone called … TIM.

TIM is a robot, a Train Inspector Monorail. He glides along the miles of the LHC at up to 3.7 miles per hour—roughly human walking speed, and inspects the tunnels to alert workers and scientists of any problems.

The sleek metal droid has a radiation probe to look for leaks and bursts. It can also check oxygen levels, room temperature, monitor the tunnel structure, and communication bandwidth. An onboard camera can give CERN’s scientists either a straight visual or an infrared scan of the of the LHC.

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