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Sensors 2015, 15(6), 12651-12667; doi:10.3390/s150612651

Low-Cost Impact Detection and Location for Automated Inspections of 3D Metallic Based Structures

Sensors and Actuators Group, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Juan de Herrera 6, Madrid 28040, Spain
GITERM. ETS I. Navales, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Arco de la Victoria 4, Madrid 28040, Spain
E.T.S.I. Industriales, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Albacete 02071, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gerhard Lindner
Received: 31 March 2015 / Revised: 18 May 2015 / Accepted: 25 May 2015 / Published: 28 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acoustic Waveguide Sensors)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [862 KB, uploaded 29 May 2015]   |  


This paper describes a new low-cost means to detect and locate mechanical impacts (collisions) on a 3D metal-based structure. We employ the simple and reasonably hypothesis that the use of a homogeneous material will allow certain details of the impact to be automatically determined by measuring the time delays of acoustic wave propagation throughout the 3D structure. The location of strategic piezoelectric sensors on the structure and an electronic-computerized system has allowed us to determine the instant and position at which the impact is produced. The proposed automatic system allows us to fully integrate impact point detection and the task of inspecting the point or zone at which this impact occurs. What is more, the proposed method can be easily integrated into a robot-based inspection system capable of moving over 3D metallic structures, thus avoiding (or minimizing) the need for direct human intervention. Experimental results are provided to show the effectiveness of the proposed approach. View Full-Text
Keywords: collision detection; metallic structures; acoustic wave propagation; robotized inspection collision detection; metallic structures; acoustic wave propagation; robotized inspection

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Morón, C.; Portilla, M.P.; Somolinos, J.A.; Morales, R. Low-Cost Impact Detection and Location for Automated Inspections of 3D Metallic Based Structures. Sensors 2015, 15, 12651-12667.

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