Need to find FOD? No worries. Intosite has you covered.

This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software Tecnomatix blog page here.

Need to find FOD? No worries

Siemens and TurbineOne demonstrate FOD Dog solution using Intosite to save time and money while keeping aircraft and people safe from foreign object debris.

What is FOD? FOD is Foreign Object Debris that can get ingested into a jet engine, causing severe damage and risking lives. A common approach in the military today is to conduct FOD walkdowns, where individuals line up and walk the flight line and tarmacs looking for FOD. This is very time consuming and costs many man-hours that could be spent working on aircraft maintenance and repair.

The US Department of Defense Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering (OUSD(R&E)) clearly understands the FOD problem. Siemens and TurbineOne have integrated hardware, software, and AI to find FOD more effectively and efficiently. Recently, we demonstrated our prototype for one of the OUSD(R&E) 5G Aircraft Readiness initiative use cases. Known as the FOD Dog, this compelling, autonomous robot solution can move large amounts of data in a rapid manner to effectively locate FOD and help prevent damage to aircraft, to save man-hours, and to decrease the risk of injury to aircrew and maintainers.

The FOD Dog runs on batteries that allow it to operate for about 12 hours. Once initiated, the dog can be connected to the cloud via 5G and controlled from anywhere in the world. The FOD Dog has several advanced sensors on board, including an Ouster 64-beam LiDAR, an Intel RealSense D435i camera, a structured light projector, and several inertial measurement units (IMUs) combined for sensor fusion.

Since the FOD Dog is an autonomous vehicle with many advanced sensors, it emits a significant amount of data that can be transmitted at high speeds with low latency via 5G technology. This data can then be used by maintainers and operators to ensure that FOD is removed from areas where aircraft taxi and takeoff.

The FOD Dog
user-friendly interface for operators and maintainers

To provide a user-friendly interface for operators and maintainers, Siemens developed the Visual FOD Dog application. This application was built rapidly by leveraging the MENDIX™ low-code platform using the Intosite™ software visual information hub as an embedded component. This app allows for the graphical display of the FOD Dogs and their connection to relevant sources of information. Scanning plans are created for the dogs to investigate areas of interest and are simulated to validate the intended routes. The movement of the FOD Dogs is monitored and displayed along with the dynamic parameters streaming from the robot, including the detection and location of FOD found, providing this safety-critical information so that FOD can be removed.

Watch this video to see how the solution works:

Video courtesy of United States Department of Defense Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering (OUSD(R&E)).

The FOD Dog is just one example of a use case where MENDIX and Intosite software can be adapted and configured to solve complex challenges.


Intosite™ allows you to create cloud-based 2D/3D/panoramic representations of a production facility, presented in its geographical context. This allows you to navigate through the facility in a simple and familiar way providing intuitive access to information from any IT system.