Augmented Bridge Inspection with Augmented Reality and Haptics-based Aerial Manipulation (AS-7)

Insight and leverage from prior project work identified the need for haptics; the inspector’s sense of touch is often used in bridge assessment. Haptics’ adoption in medical robotics shows potential for applications in remote inspection and maintenance. For example, surgeons employ haptic-based manipulators to both probe and operate minimally-invasive procedures. Such manipulators augment the surgeon by assessing areas that are difficult to see or reach with conventional tools. Likewise, envisioned is the augmentation of bridge personnel by providing a haptics-based aerial manipulator. Such a manipulator would reduce needs to ascend elevated structures like under bridge decks and cabling. There is recent work that uses haptics in aerial manipulation. But these center on autonomous multi-drone flight formation for aerial shows or cooperative object delivery [1] [2]. The haptics research here is relatively straight-forward [3]. The sense of touch is used to provide spatial distance between drones. By contrast, this proposal’s novelty and merit are centered on human-in-the-loop aerial manipulation. The notion is that the expert bridge worker remotely configures the aerial manipulator to “probe” areas of interest and “operate” maintenance procedures. This Year 4 proposal integrates haptics, augmented reality (AR), and drone-mounted arm. The specific objective is to characterize haptics and AR for their applicability to perform remote probing (i.e. inspection) and operation (i.e. maintenance). Scope of Work in Year 4: The objectives of this study are to test, evaluate, verify and validate haptics-based aerial manipulation. Realizing such objectives would yield new capabilities for remote bridge inspection and maintenance. The tools and techniques would leverage bridge personnel expertise and introduce a new paradigm of human-in-the-loop aerial manipulation. This is akin to the advances and adoption found in medical robotics for minimally-invasive surgery.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $132117
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      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:

      University of Nevada, Las Vegas

      Las Vegas, NV  United States 
    • Principal Investigators:

      Oh, Paul

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

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01751892
    • 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 15 2020 6:40PM