The world has evolved into one big village since countries are becoming connected, more people travel and business is growing across multiple countries. These happen at an growing rate and to remain in the game on the global stage in the present, our infrastructure must keep up. Without a secure, modern infrastructure, our ports won’t be able to cope with the new deep-water cargo ship. Goods cannot be moved from shipyards to factories quickly enough and workers will always be in a rush to work. More than ever, growth and development are impossible if our nation’s infrastructure isn’t up to speed.
The 19th and 20th centuries, America focused mainly on expanding its transportation infrastructure through the construction of bridges, roads and other related structures. However, the maintenance and inspection of these structures has not kept up with the demands. Many of them reached the final stage of their lifespan a couple of many years in the past. Traffic volumes are now more than 10 times the amount they were at the time the structures were constructed. Because they support increased load, the structures are putting more wear on the structures. Furthermore due to outdated inspection techniques, the degrading and corrosion has outpaced repair. In order to stop this deterioration, it is necessary to look for alternatives to re-building or replacing the structures. There’s not enough money available to completely replace the bridges which are in decay.
The use of robotics and technology is an active step towards maintaining our infrastructure. If, for instance, you recognize that you’re suffering from any illness at the beginning of its course, you are able to effectively combat the illness and restore your health. In the same way, if we can identify the areas where water intrusion, deterioration and corrosion are taking place in the structure, we can make small repairs before they become a danger to the entire structure.
Technology plays a significant function in the inspection of the deterioration and other defects that are forming in the structure. It can accurately evaluate the condition of structures such as bridges, roads tunnel, dam or dam with a non-destructive approach. Traditional, and I would say the old methods inspections are carried out on specific areas, which is called lot sampling. The samples are collected using methods such as cutting and coring which are destructive techniques. After you cut or core the area, you expose it to moisture and air, which can cause corrosion.
The monitoring and inspection process of infrastructure has to be changed. With the advancement of technology and robotics, we are able to enhance our inspection methods to be more precise. Modern robotics that are integrated into the process of inspection can not only provide more accurate information, but also prevent closures of lanes, increase the security of inspectors and the general public and better assess the structures they inspect.
The use of robotics and modern technology can help ensure the highest level of security for the public as well as staff on road and bridge inspections and will provide an accurate reports on the condition of bridges for officials at the Department of transportation and bridge owners. By providing the data that the DOT requires to efficiently allocate resources, we can prolong the life of our vital infrastructure assets, and also save billions in replacements that are not timely.
It is vital to realize that technology on its own isn’t enough. Expertly trained bridge inspectors certified by experience along with robotics can give asset managers the best service they’ve ever had before. Conducting bridge inspections like this will cut not just the costs of bridge inspections, or any other structure in a significant way as well as provide the necessary quantitative information which the transportation department requires to assign assets.