A Field Deployable Wall-Climbing Robot for Bridge Inspection using Vision and Impact Sounding Techniques (AS-6)

This project aims to: (1) develop a reliable and field deployable robot to provide vertical mobility for data collection on concrete bridges and other civil infrastructure (2) improve image processing algorithms to detect surface flaws using cameras; (3) modify the impact sounding device and improve software algorithms to detect subsurface defects using sound; (4) integrate the hardware and software system into a holistic solution for a field deployable robot to automate the bridge inspection process with minimal human intervention. This project focuses on system integration to develop a reliable and field deployable robot to be ready for field test. The combination of wall-climbing robot and nondestructive evaluation (NDE) methods can directly be applied in bridge inspection, which will meet the Inspecting and Preserving Infrastructure through Robotic Exploration University Transportation Center (INSPIRE UTC) goal of making inspection and maintenance more reliable and cost-effective. Approach and Methodology: Impact sounding has been recognized as an effective NDE tool to detect delamination and void in concrete structures. An enormous amount of sounding data can be generated/collected by the inspection systems equipped with impactors and microphones. The main challenges in the practical application of this technology are the automatic data collection and the development of advanced impact sounding data analytics that can be used for identifying subsurface defects. This project will focus on investigationg visual and impact sounding inspection using Wind-Rider robot that can maneuver on curved surfaces. The research team will improve the robot with new impact sounding mechanism, enhance the visual simultaneous localization and mapping (V-SLAM) algorithm for visual inspection and mapping, integrate the sounding data analytics in the robotic software and visualize the subsurface defects in 2D map, helping professional engineers analyze structural conditions. Overall Objectives: This project aims to to produce a highly capable and highly reliable robotic platform with vertical mobility to automatically collect visual and sounding data and be ready for field deployment in real world bridge inspection applications. Scope of Work in Year 1: (1) Investigate solutions to overcome the limitations of the current impact sounding mechanism, (2) Investigate impact sounding and/or impact echo instruments to be outfitted on robot for structural integrity testing, (3) Select the most feasible solution and conduct detailed mechanical design and CAD modeling of the new impacting mechanism, (4) Design embedded control and automatic sounding data collection system. Scope of Work in Year 2: (1) Develop sounding data analysis software in collaboration with Anil’s team, (2) integrate the V-SLAM algorithm with the sounding data processing algorithm to locate and visualize the subsurface defects, (3) System integration and perform in-house testing of visual and impact sounding inspection, (4) Conduct field testing on actual infrastructures to evaluate the performance of the robot and inspection results.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $647394
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      City College of New York

      Civil Engineering, Steinman T-127
      140th Street and Convent Avenue
      New York, NY  United States  10031

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      Inspecting and Preserving Infrastructure through Robotic Exploration University Transportation Center

      Missouri University of Science and Technology
      Rolla, MO  United States  65409
    • Performing Organizations:

      City College of the City University of New York

      30 West Broadway, 11th Floor
      New York, NY  United States  10007
    • Principal Investigators:

      Xiao, Jizhong

    • Start Date: 20200101
    • Expected Completion Date: 20240630
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01751724
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Inspecting and Preserving Infrastructure through Robotic Exploration University Transportation Center
    • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747126
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: Sep 11 2020 1:02PM