Steel structures and steel bridges, constituting a major part in civil infrastructure, require adequate maintenance and health monitoring. In the U.S., more than 50,000 steel bridges are either deficient or functionally obsolete, which likely presents a growing threat to people's safety. The collapse of numerous bridges recorded over the past 16 years has shown significant impact on the safety of all travelers.
In this presentation, the design and implementation of two different climbing robots for steel structure inspection are reported. Based on the magnetic wheel design, the robot can climb on different steel surface structures (i.e., flat, cylinder, cube). The robots can be remotely controlled or programmed to move autonomously on steel structures. Current tests shows that the robots can carry up to 8 pounds of load while being able to adhere strongly on the steel surface. Climbing capability tests are done on bridges and on several steel structures with coated or unclean surfaces. Although the steel surface is curved and rusty, the robots can still adhere tightly.
Dr. Hung La is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno, Director of the Advanced Robotics and Automation Laboratory, and principal investigator for the INSPIRE UTC. He works in the areas of robotics and control systems. His current interests are in bridge inspection robotic system developments, mobile sensor networks, and multi-robot systems. Dr. La is an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems. Dr. La has received the prestigious 2014 ASCE Charles Pankow Award for the development of Robotics Assisted Bridge Inspection Tool (RABIT). He is the recipient of 3 Best Paper Awards and a Best Presentation Award at international conferences.
La, Hung, "Climbing Robots for Steel Bridge Inspection and Evaluation" (2018). Archived Webinars. 4.
Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
INSPIRE - University Transportation Center
Video - Presentation
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