Bridge-MINDER Repair Robot
The Bridge-MINDER robot is under development by roboticists at Rutgers University in New Jersey and Texas A&M University (TAMU).
Bridges are critical components of modern transportation infrastructure. Bridges deteriorate over time as a result of material aging, excessive use and overloading, environmental conditions, inadequate maintenance, and deficiencies in inspection and evaluation. Building on the recent advances in robotics and automation technologies, the objective of this project is to develop a novel Minimally Invasive robotic Non-Destructive Evaluation and Rehabilitation for bridge decks.
The project develops new robotic system, algorithms and control schemes for sustainable civil infrastructure, including: (1) development of a novel robotics-assisted in-traffic system for highly-efficient, safety-guaranteed bridge deck inspection and diagnosis; (2) development of a new robotic rehabilitation system for delivering fast, cost-effective, minimally invasive repair and maintenance for bridge decks; (3) a human-in-the-loop robotic coordination for minimally traffic interference; and (4) experimental platforms and field performance evaluation for the proposed system. The project also provides insights to advance real time scene understanding, multiple robot coordination, and human-robot collaboration in complex robotic systems. If successful, this project can drastically reduce bridge maintenance cost and mitigate negative impact caused by closing the bridge traffic flow under traditional bridge inspection and repair.
Someday we'll have fully autonomous repair robots like those envisioned by Stanislaw Lem in his wonderful 1954 novel The Invincible:
Faint rattling noises came from inside the hull as if swarms of tiny animals were busily scurrying about scratching the metal walls with their sharp little claws. This was the sign that the repair robots had started out on their rounds, checking the solidity of the braces of the ship's framework; making sure that the hull had not been damaged anywhere and that all seams were still welded tight.
(Read more about Stanislaw Lem's repair robots)
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