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Bridge Inspection Robot Finds Cracks and Determines Deterioration

Matt Ball on June 20, 2014 - in Analysis, Bridges, Maintenance, Projects, Transportation

A bridge inspection robot has been developed by researchers at Rutgers University with funding from the Federal Highway Administration. The robot uses ground penetrating radar, ultrasonic waves and high definition imaging to determine the health of aging concrete bridges. Like an MRI, the returning images and readings help determine if the concrete or steel reinforcements are deteriorating.

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Researchers from Rutgers CAIT (Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation) worked with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering to create a computer vision platform mounted on a bridge inspection robot with funding from the Federal Highway Administration.

The computer vision component automatically detects surface cracks and analyzes ground penetrating radar to determine deterioration. A 360 degree view is obtained by a mirrored lens mounted on the robot camera in order to obtain panoramic images as the robot traverses the bridge deck. The project is part of a robotic bridge inspection project led by Prof. Nenad Gucunski and funded by the FHWA (Federal Highway Administration).

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