New robotics technology improves bridge inspections

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Researchers at Waterloo Engineering have developed new technology to automate bridge inspections for structural defects and deterioration.

The system uses autonomous robots, cameras and lidar to systematically collect data for detection and analysis, making mandatory safety inspections both cheaper and more reliable.

“We’re combining our infrastructure expertise with the latest robotics technology to greatly improve what is now a very manual process,” said Sriram Narasimhan, a cross-appointed professor of civil and environmental engineering, and mechanical and mechatronics engineering.

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Stephen Phillips, a PhD student at the University of Waterloo, works with a robotic ground vehicle used in research on automating bridge inspections.

Stephen Phillips, a PhD student at Waterloo Engineering, works with a robotic ground vehicle used in research on automating bridge inspections.               Photo: Christopher Bogdon, Clearpath Robotics

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