The simplest robotic radiographic inspection is exemplified by a conveyor belt moving engine blocks past an X-ray source on one side and a detector on the other. An operator reads a viewer as the specimens pass by. More complex systems required for more complex objects make use of a manipulator for the object itself and another for the X-ray source and the detector. These systems are computer programmed to maintain the correct positions, distances, and levels of energy and intensity to create the required image.
By far the biggest and most consistent users of NDT inspection have been the military and the aerospace industry, closely followed by manufacturers and users of pipelines and pressure vessels. In the past, general industry has not been as aware of the need for such inspection, especially the advantages of using independent NDT lab services.