Inspection of reinforced concrete structures by autonomous umbilical free robot
The corrosion of materials and structures costs ~ 3.5% pa of the global gross domestic product (GDP) and Reinforced Concrete (R/C) causes 8% of this bill, ~ £158bnpa, £8bnpa in the UK. Therefore, improving R/C structural inspection will lead to a large reduction in repair costs, can make a significant positive impact on the global economy.
Currently R/C inspection is carried out manually by a person positioned on expensive scaffolding or by abseiling, with this comes a high safety risk.
The partners will address these problems by developing a prototype R/C climbing robot that
(i) deploys a precision non-contact GPR sensor for the detection of rebar and concrete corrosion and related defects, with 100% volume coverage and no scaffolding or abseiling.
(ii) Is umbilical free, enabling climbing to unlimited heights.
(iii) Works autonomously in GPS/UWB controlled trajectories, adjustable by GPR sensor feedback for avoidance of rebar-poor regions.
(iv) Transfers NDT data by wireless link to a ground-based CPU.
(v) Is fail-safe and easily recoverable.
The project partners behind this innovative project form a balanced consortium with extensive experience in collaboratively working on and delivering projects of a similar capacity.
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SIRCAUR is a result of a research project funded by Innovate UK. Reference no. 103668.