The aging of bridges and increased vehicular traffic has made it important that elevated highway structures receive timely and accurate inspections. Today's procedures for inspections require special equipment, disrupt traffic flow, and expose inspection personnel to safety hazards. The advent of drones that can carry cameras in close proximity to elevated structures presents an opportunity to conduct inspections quickly, safely, and effectively. Towards this goal, this class presents an end-to-end system for robotic bridge inspection. The system creates flight missions; evaluates visual quality of data collection; generates 3D models; detects and localizes surface distresses in 3D; and generates reports complying with the requirements of highway agencies. We’ll share lessons learned from deploying this system on 30 bridge inspection projects in the United States and Japan concerning procedures for documenting, communicating, and following up on bridge inspectors’ recommendations.
- Learn how bridge inspection can be done automatically with drones.
- Review the Japanese government’s initiative to transition to robotic inspection of infrastructure assets.
- Explore how automation can be introduced one step at a time for bridge inspection.
- Discover how inspection reports can be generated with a push of a button.