INSPIRE Archived Webinars

Multi-User Collaboration in Mixed Reality for Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight Bridge Inspection Using Robotic Platforms


Media is loading

Webinar Date

27 March 2024, 10:00am


The U.S. National Bridge Inventory has approximately 600,000 bridges that cross rivers and roadways. These elevated structures present access challenges, resulting in inefficient and ineffective routine inspections. Visual inspection often causes traffic interruption and safety concerns, leading to inherently inconsistent condition-state assignments depending on human factors. Robotic and sensing technologies will transform the manual inspection into automated bridge inspection toward data-driven bridge management. The current application of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is limited to the visual line of sight, which is impractical for long-span bridges. In June 2023, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved several organizations to fly unmanned vehicles beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS). Even so, UAVs are prone to crashing during short flights and require pilot licensing and stable control for high-quality data collection. For long-span bridges and the overpasses of active roadways, there is a need to seek a complimentary robotic platform for the BVLOS inspection. In this presentation, we will introduce an augmented reality framework for a multi-user collaborative system to support inspection tasks. In a case study, two inspectors collaborate at a simulated bridge site. The lead inspector ensures safety, collects visual inspection data, and retrieves historical information as needed for on-site defect investigation, while the assistant inspector navigates a magnetically wheeled structural crawler and conducts ultrasonic thickness measurements on steel bridges or components. The virtual collaboration mechanism will be integrated into a Human-centered Automated Bridge Inspection Training Simulator (HABITS) for pilots/inspectors.


Dr. Chen received his Ph.D. degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1992 and joined Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) in 1996 after over three years of bridge design, inspection, and construction practices with Steinman Consulting Engineers in New York City. Since 1996, Dr. Chen has authored or co-authored over 400 technical publications in structural health monitoring (SHM), structural control, structural and robotic dynamics, computational and experimental mechanics, life-cycle assessment and deterioration mitigation of infrastructure, multi-hazards assessment and mitigation, transportation infrastructure preservation and resiliency including 217 journal papers, 5 book chapters, and 28 keynote and invited presentations at international conferences. He chaired the 9th International Conference on Structural Health Monitoring of Intelligent Infrastructure (SHMII-9), St. Louis, Missouri, August 4-7, 2019. He has been granted with one patent on distributed coax cable strain/crack sensors and two patents on enamel coating of steel reinforcing bars for corrosion protection and steel-concrete bond strength. He received the 2019 international SHM Person of the Year award, the 1998 National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the 2004 Academy of Civil Engineers Faculty Achievement Award, and the 2009, 2011, and 2013 Missouri S&T Faculty Research Awards. In 2016, he was nominated and inducted into the Academy of Civil Engineers at Missouri S&T and became an honorary member of Chi Epsilon. He is a Fellow of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Structural Engineering Institute (SEI), and the International Society for Structural Health Monitoring of Intelligent Infrastructure (ISHMII). He is a Section Editor of the Intelligent Sensors, Associate Editor of the Journal of Civil Structural Health Monitoring, Associate Editor of Advances in Bridge Engineering, Editorial Board Member of Advances in Structural Engineering, and Vice President of the U.S. Panel on Structural Control and Monitoring.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

INSPIRE - University Transportation Center

Document Type

Video - Presentation

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2024 Missouri University of Science and Technology, All rights reserved.

This document is currently not available here.