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

 

Advertisement

PaintSquare


Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


The Robotic Future of Bridge Inspection

Friday, May 17, 2013

Comment | More

Robotic inspectors could soon be sweeping across the nation's bridges, collecting data and sending important structural information to their human counterparts.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration is using an innovative new robot to inspect the structural integrity of concrete bridge decks, the agency announced Wednesday (May 15).

FHWA created the robotic tool in partnership with the Rutgers University Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT). The bot combines advanced, customized imaging technologies to give inspectors more accurate, real-time information.

Rutgers Bridge robot
Photos: Rutgers University

The FHWA plans to use robots on 1,000 bridges nationwide over the next five years. Its "x-ray" vision identifies bridge issues without damage.

The robot combines several scans that require different sets of tools in a single sweep, using imaging technologies (similar to x-ray technology) to scan for damages without damaging the bridge deck.

5 Years, 1,000 Bridges

The FHWA is using the robot on 24 bridges in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. The five-year goal is to use the robot on 1,000 bridges nationwide.

To use the tool, the robot is driven to the site in a command center van. One or two people can monitor the controls as the robot does its work, reporting data back to the van.

The robot’s features include ultrasonic surface waves to assess the concrete deck; high-definition imaging to capture the deck surface and 360-degree images of bridge features; a ground penetrating radar to detect suspected or apparent deterioration; and a GPS to record and tag data with exact location coordinates.

“By using innovative technology, we can better identify needed bridge repairs, which is all part of the president’s vision for improved transportation infrastructure,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

“This technology is helping bridge owners make smarter investment decisions,” said Victor Mendez, Federal Highway Administrator.

Long-Term Bridge Program

The tool is a product of the Long-Term Bridge Performance (LTBP) Program, a FHWA research initiative to collect and analyze data on a representative sample of bridges around the country to understand how they react under certain conditions.

The robot reports information back to its command center van, allowing inspectors to analyze bridge data in real, or almost real, time.

Led by Rutgers’ CAIT and launched in 2008, the bridge performance project is envisioned as a 20-year comprehensive examination of the nation’s “workhorse” highway bridges. Through the program, researchers will:

  • Inspect, evaluate and monitor a representative sample of bridges nationwide;
  • Examine all the physical and functional variables that affect bridge performance;
  • Create a comprehensive database of quantitative data on bridge performance;
  • Analyze and apply the data gathered to facilitate improve life-cycle cost and predictive models, better understanding of bridge deterioration, and more effective maintenance and repair strategies; and
  • Support improved design and building methods and bridge preservation practices and help develop the next generation of bridge management systems.

FHWA plans to use the data to develop a better understanding of concrete bridge deck deterioration, including the impacts of corrosion, the environment, traffic patterns and weight.

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; Concrete; Department of Transportation (DOT); Federal Highway Administration (FHWA); Research

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Advertisements
 
SEMicro Division, M.E. Taylor Engineering, Inc.
 
Coatings Adhesion Testers
 
The PATTI® accurately measures the bond strength between coating & substrate. Outfitted properly, the surface can be rough, porous, or curved & >10K psi strong!
 

 
Strategic Materials Inc.
 
www.truabrasives.com
 
TruAbrasives™, a clean crushed glass abrasive superior to other abrasives for performance, health, and environmental benefits.
 

 
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
 

 
SABRE Autonomous Solutions
 
Repeatability
 
The ALPHA1 provides reliable results consistently allowing you to cost your next job with confidence.
 

 
W Abrasives
 
Optimize your blasting process and operations!
 
Blasting is a complex process that goes above and beyond the simple question of the shot used, no matter how innovative and efficient it is. W Abrasives is there to help.
 

 
BASF
 
New resins from BASF will have metals loving water!
 
Excellent corrosion resistance, low VOC, high gloss, thin films www.basf.us/industrialcoatings dpsolutions@basf.com 800-231-7868
 

 
Safway Services
 
Your Access Advantage. QUIKDECK®
 
Provides safe, factory-floor-like working conditions. Can be engineered to fit almost any shape, structure or size. Modular platform easily assembled from just a few basic components. Excellent containment. Applications include vessels, offshore rigs and bridges.
 

 
US Minerals
 
Hit Harder. Clean Faster.
 
Black Diamond abrasive products are the toughest, most effective blasting media and supply the superior power you need to get any job done.
 

 
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
 

 
Sherwin-Williams
 
Sherwin-Williams General Polymers Resinous Flooring App
 
Our coatings and linings expertise available 24/7, allowing you to explore the Sherwin-Williams systems best suited for your flooring needs. Android Users Click here to Download the app today!
 

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

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