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.

Project Objectives

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.

News and Updates

SIRCAUR is a result of a research project funded by Innovate UK. Reference no. 103668.