Special Issue "Advances in Inspection Robotic Systems"

A special issue of Robotics (ISSN 2218-6581).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Erika Ottaviano
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, Cassino, Italy
Interests: robotics; mechatronics; kinematics; mechanical design; inspection robotic systems; mobile robots; cable-driven robots; assistive devices
Prof. Dr. Hoon Sohn
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), 291 Daehak Ro, Daejeon 34141, Korea
Interests: structural health monitoring; non-destructive testing; 3D printing monitoring; statistical pattern recognition & machine learning; data analytics; sensing technologies; smart materials & structures; smart construction; laser ultrasonics; thermography; probabilistic & statistical analysis; system identification; structural dynamics; random vibrations; earthquake engineering
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The inspection and monitoring of sites, structures, and infrastructure have become a crucial issue for their sustainability and maintenance. Although these tasks are repetitive and time-consuming, classical approaches still rely largely on human activity. The development of reliable mechatronic and robotic agents can be considered as an efficient solution for the monitoring and inspection tasks, because they can be effective in exploring dangerous or inaccessible sites at a relatively low cost with an important reduction of the time required.

Through the dissemination of advanced research developments in robotics, mechatronics, and integrated management systems, this Special Issue aims to promote and reinforce collaborations, research, and technical solutions among researchers of different disciplines; and contribute to the advancements in the integration of robotics, automation, and information technologies in the area of management of constructed and new facilities and infrastructure.

The Special Issue seeks to collect recent research on all the topics listed below. Review papers are also welcome.

This Special Issue will contain extended versions of selected papers presented at the 14th International Workshop on Advanced Smart Materials and Smart Structures Technology ANCRISST 2019.

Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • Design and modelling of ground, aerial, and climbing robots for inspection;
  • Autonomous or tele-operated robots for in-situ interventions;
  • Collaborative robots for performing complex tasks in structured/unstructured environments;
  • Smart mechatronics, including end-effectors, and sensing that enable robotic in-situ interventions;
  • Intelligent behaviours to improve robot performance and survivability;
  • Manipulation for in-situ interventions;
  • Novel sensors and actuators for inspection robotics;
  • Sensing and sensor fusion;
  • Autonomous search and rescue;
  • Automated visual inspection;
  • Enhanced monitoring and automated procedure for self-inspection and maintenance;
  • Image processing, defects, and damage evaluation.
Dr. Erika Ottaviano
Prof. Hoon Sohn
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Robotics is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • mobile robots
  • UAV
  • climbing robots
  • autonomous and tele-operated robots
  • inspection
  • enhanced monitoring
  • smart mechatronics
  • sensing and sensor fusion
  • automated visual inspection
  • image processing and damage evaluation
  • self-inspection and maintenance

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Testing Walking-Induced Vibration of Floors Using Smartphones Recordings
Robotics 2020, 9(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics9020037 - 20 May 2020
Viewed by 1685
Abstract
Smartphone technology is rapidly evolving, adding sensors of growing accuracy and precision. Structural engineers are among customers who indirectly benefit from such technological advances. This paper tests whether accelerometers installed in new generations of smartphones can reach the accuracy of professional accelerometers created [...] Read more.
Smartphone technology is rapidly evolving, adding sensors of growing accuracy and precision. Structural engineers are among customers who indirectly benefit from such technological advances. This paper tests whether accelerometers installed in new generations of smartphones can reach the accuracy of professional accelerometers created for vibration monitoring of civil engineering structures, and how they can be useful. The paper describes an experimental study designed to measure walking-induced vibrations of a slender prefabricated prestressed concrete slab. Both traditional, high-accuracy, accelerometers and those integrated into commercial smartphones were used for experimental data collection. Direct comparison of the recordings yielded two key findings: the accuracy of smartphone accelerometers largely depends on the specific smartphone model, and nevertheless is satisfactory for preliminary modal testing at the very least. Furthermore, the smartphone measured accelerations of the lower back were used successfully to indirectly measure pedestrian walking loads. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Inspection Robotic Systems)
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Article
Wheeled Robot Dedicated to the Evaluation of the Technical Condition of Large-Dimension Engineering Structures
Robotics 2020, 9(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics9020028 - 20 Apr 2020
Viewed by 2121
Abstract
There are many reasons why engineering structures are at risk of losing their loading capacity during their long-term exploitation, which may lead to hazardous states. In such cases, structures must be strengthened. The most popular technique of strengthening is based on the use [...] Read more.
There are many reasons why engineering structures are at risk of losing their loading capacity during their long-term exploitation, which may lead to hazardous states. In such cases, structures must be strengthened. The most popular technique of strengthening is based on the use of composite materials—fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) elements attached to the structure with the special resins. FRP elements are applied externally, often in hard to reach places, which makes it difficult to diagnose the durability and quality of such a connection. In this study, a combination of a modern thermographic method was proposed, which makes it possible to assess the degree of damage to the contact of the structure with the composite material along with the running platform (wheeled robot) equipped with a set of diagnostic sensors. The development potential of such a solution for subsequent projects was also indicated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Inspection Robotic Systems)
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Article
Design and Implementation of a Connection between Augmented Reality and Sensors
Robotics 2020, 9(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics9010003 - 01 Jan 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3293
Abstract
Wireless sensor networks (WSN) are used by engineers to record the behavior of structures. The sensors provide data to be used by engineers to make informed choices and prioritize decisions concerning maintenance procedures, required repairs, and potential infrastructure replacements. However, reliable data collection [...] Read more.
Wireless sensor networks (WSN) are used by engineers to record the behavior of structures. The sensors provide data to be used by engineers to make informed choices and prioritize decisions concerning maintenance procedures, required repairs, and potential infrastructure replacements. However, reliable data collection in the field remains a challenge. The information obtained by the sensors in the field frequently needs further processing, either at the decision-making headquarters or in the office. Although WSN allows data collection and analysis, there is often a gap between WSN data analysis results and the way decisions are made in industry. The industry depends on inspectors’ decisions, so it is of vital necessity to improve the inspectors’ access in the field to data collected from sensors. This paper presents the results of an experiment that shows the way Augmented Reality (AR) may improve the availability of WSN data to inspectors. AR is a tool which overlays the known attributes of an object with the corresponding position on the headset screen. In this way, it allows the integration of reality with a virtual representation provided by a computer in real time. These additional synthetic overlays supply data that may be unavailable otherwise, but it may also display additional contextual information. The experiment reported in this paper involves the application of a smart Strain Gauge Platform, which automatically measures strain for different applications, using a wireless sensor. In this experiment, an AR headset was used to improve actionable data visualization. The results of the reported experiment indicate that since the AR headset makes it possible to visualize information collected from the sensors in a graphic form in real time, it enables automatic, effective, reliable, and instant communication from a smart low-cost sensor strain gauge to a database. Moreover, it allows inspectors to observe augmented data and compare it across time and space, which then leads to appropriate prioritization of infrastructure management decisions based on accurate observations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Inspection Robotic Systems)
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Article
Numerical and Experimental Validation of the Prototype of a Bio-Inspired Piping Inspection Robot
Robotics 2019, 8(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics8020032 - 23 Apr 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3836
Abstract
Piping inspection robots are of greater importance for industries such as nuclear, chemical and sewage. Mechanisms having closed loop or tree-like structures can be employed in such pipelines owing to their adaptable structures. A bio-inspired caterpillar type piping inspection robot was developed at [...] Read more.
Piping inspection robots are of greater importance for industries such as nuclear, chemical and sewage. Mechanisms having closed loop or tree-like structures can be employed in such pipelines owing to their adaptable structures. A bio-inspired caterpillar type piping inspection robot was developed at Laboratoire des Sciences du Numérique de Nantes (LS2N), France. Using DC motors and leg mechanisms, the robot accomplishes the locomotion of a caterpillar in six-steps. With the help of Coulomb’s law of dry friction, a static force model was written and the contact forces between legs of robot and pipeline walls were determined. The actuator forces of the DC motors were then estimated under static phases for horizontal and vertical orientations of the pipeline. Experiments were then conducted on the prototype where the peak results of static force analysis for a given pipe diameter were set as threshold limits to attain static phases inside a test pipeline. The real-time actuator forces were estimated in experiments for similar orientations of the pipeline of static force models and they were found to be higher when compared to the numerical model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Inspection Robotic Systems)
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