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Open AccessArticle

Robotic System for Inspection by Contact of Bridge Beams Using UAVs

Robotics, Vision and Control Group, Universidad de Sevilla, Camino de los Descubrimientos s.n., 41092 Sevilla, Spain
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This paper is an extended version of our paper published in Proceedings of 2017 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS), Miami, FL, USA, 13–16 June 2017 “Multirotor UAS for bridge inspection by contact using the ceiling effect”
Sensors 2019, 19(2), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19020305
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 9 January 2019 / Accepted: 10 January 2019 / Published: 14 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bridge Structural Health Monitoring and Damage Identification)
This paper presents a robotic system using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for bridge-inspection tasks that require physical contact between the aerial platform and the bridge surfaces, such as beam-deflection analysis or measuring crack depth with an ultrasonic sensor. The proposed system takes advantage of the aerodynamic ceiling effect that arises when the multirotor gets close to the bridge surface. Moreover, this paper describes how a UAV can be used as a sensor that is able to fly and touch the bridge to take measurements during an inspection by contact. A practical application of the system involving the measurement of a bridge’s beam deflection using a laser tracking station is also presented. In order to validate our system, experiments on two different bridges involving the measurement of the deflection of their beams are shown. View Full-Text
Keywords: robotic bridge inspection; UAS applications; aerial robotics; aerial inspection; aerodynamic ceiling effect robotic bridge inspection; UAS applications; aerial robotics; aerial inspection; aerodynamic ceiling effect
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Sanchez-Cuevas, P.J.; Ramon-Soria, P.; Arrue, B.; Ollero, A.; Heredia, G. Robotic System for Inspection by Contact of Bridge Beams Using UAVs. Sensors 2019, 19, 305.

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