PaintSquare.com
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram
Search the site

 

Download our FREE eResource: Specifier's Choice Guide. Get it now.

Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Robot Busts Corrosion on Swiss Bridges

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Comment | More

Hard-to-reach spots during bridge inspections are getting a little help from a wall- and ceiling-climbing robot that may soon bring its talents to a national stage.

A research team in Zürich developed the robot, called C2D2 (Climbing Corrosion Detecting Device), to be used as a corrosion detector by modifying a former project.

Now Switzerland's Federal Roads Office (FEDRO), which is funding the project, is considering using the robot for future bridge inspections.

C2D2
Photos: Peter Rüegg / ETH Zürich

"C2D2 can help to create a safe and sustainable infrastructure at a relatively low cost—that was the motivation behind the project," said Bernhard Elsener, professor at the Institute for Building Materials at ETH Zürich.

C2D2 recently won an award in the "Prolongation of Service Life" category at the first Concrete Innovation Conference, held June 11-13 in Oslo, Norway.

Old Meets New

C2D2 joined forces with technology to identify corrosion at an early stage that was developed 25 years ago by Bernhard Elsener, professor at the Institute for Building Materials at ETH Zürich, and a team of researchers.

Back then, they attached an electrode to a wheel and wheeled it across the surface of reinforced concrete. The sensor measured electric potential differences, which were then analyzed.

While the technology was used for a long time to inspect bridges, Elsener said one problem remained: "The wheel electrode is attached to a stick and has to be wheeled manually. This means that many areas, such as supporting pillars and the undersides of high bridges, lie out of reach."

So the Institute of Building Materials, the Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems, and the Autonomous Systems Lab came together to develop a robot that could detect corrosion everywhere, even spots inacessible to people, and in the earliest stage possible.

"C2D2 can help to create a safe and sustainable infrastructure at a relatively low cost—that was the motivation behind the project," Elsener said.

A More Robust Robot

The team turned to a robot developed several years earlier that could move along the walls and ceiling. Steered with a remote control or computer, the robot used Vortex technology, which pushes it along with a propeller rotating fast enough for a suction cup to stick it to a surface.

ETH Zurich

The Federal Roads Office, which is funding the project, will test the robot to determine whether to start inspecting its bridges with C2D2.

The robot was originally named Paraswift and had a camera screwed on to it to film an area from all perspectives, explained Roland Siegwart, professor at the Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems and Vice President of Research and Corporate Relations at ETH Zürich.

"We made the casing and wheels more robust and incorporated the corrosion-identification technology," said Elsener.

The robot has an electrode on its underside to measure potential differences as it moves along a structure. The team also attached a pink ball to the top of C2D2 so it's easier to control and locate. The ball has an extra camera to record its surroundings and avoid obstacles.

By next year, the team hopes the robot will be able to avoid obstacles on its own. The researchers also plan to swap the manual steering with a navigation system and are working on software for autonomous data analysis.

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; Colleges and Universities; Corrosion; Research; Roads/Highways; Robotics

Comment from Andrew Smith, (8/29/2014, 2:37 AM)

I would like to see those guys at least wearing hard hats and preferably not standing under the gizmo at all...


Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Advertisements
 
International Bridge Conference
 
2017 International Bridge Conference
 
June 4-8, 2017, National Harbor, Maryland
 

 
Detail Masters
 
Overspray Removal
 
We offer professional, turnkey service and unparalleled quality!
Our process can save hundreds— even thousands of dollars. It's fast, environmentally safe and 100% guaranteed.
 

 
SABRE Autonomous Solutions
 
Safety, Productivity, Quality. Robotic Blasting
 
Learn how this simple to use, field deployed, automatic robot is eliminating hazards in major confined, cluttered and complex surface preparation projects.
 

 
SAFE Systems, Inc.
 
Custom blast rooms
by SAFE Systems
 
Don't waste time and money "making do" with a "standard" design. Let us work with you to design and build the system that best fits your requirements.
Call 1-800-634-7278
 

 
Termarust Technologies
 
Termarust (HR CSA) Chemically Stops
Active Corrosion
 
Arch truss treated with Termarust's (HR CSA) in 2003. This steel arch bridge is rust free on all surfaces including the crevice corroded joints and connections.
 

 
Atlantic Design, Inc.
 
ENGINEERING SOLUTIONS, NOT EXCUSES
 
See our website for features of our best seller, the ADI 3500CFM 4-Pot Blast Vacuum Recycler. A smaller package with all the ADI power you need. 866.Call.ADI
 

 
PPG Protective and Marine Coatings Group
 
We Protect and Beautify the World
 
PPG is widely recognized as a world leader in protective and marine coatings, developing innovative, cutting-edge products and services.
 

 
Tnemec Company, Inc.
 
Online Coating Courses from Tnemec
 
For decades, Tnemec has offered its expertise to clients presenting face-to-face coatings courses. Now, these presentations are available to anyone for CEUs at Tnemec University.
 

 
W Abrasives
 
Steel Abrasives from
W Abrasives
 
As the global leader in steel abrasives, W Abrasives material is the efficient and eco-friendly solution blasting with you to reach the perfect profile.
 

 
HoldTight Solutions Inc.
 
NO FLASH RUST - NO CONTAMINANTS
 
Our HoldTight®102 salt remover & flash rust
preventer prevents flash
rust by removing surface contaminants. Contact us
for your nearest distributor.
(800) 319.8802 sales@holdtight.com
 

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@paintsquare.com


The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us