Robot for concrete inspection scrutinizes bridges and parking decks

© Fraunhofer IZFP
Self-navigating inspection robotics BetoScan.

Parking decks, underground garages, or bridges undergo special loads: Vehicles entail humidity and salt, the open construction results in climatic changes, and the cars wear off the surface coating. So far, engineers have to stride up and down the concrete areas for random control of the surface condition. Hence, there is need for large-scale but cost-effective inspections of these areas in order to recognize subsequent damages at an early stage and to be able to counteract these damages by maintenance measures. During the “BetoScan“ project a self-propelled and self-navigating robotics platform was designed and realized. The resulting inspection system is able to inspect some hundred sqm parking deck surface per day in high resolution. The system can be handled and monitored by a single operator. Unobstructed areas can be traced by the robot autonomously in a preset pattern while locally resolved data from different inspection procedures are recorded. A cascadable sensor mount system allows for the modular operation of standard sensors. The sensor selection for the realized system was optimized for automated measurement data recording and for damage relevant measurement parameters. Additional procedures can be integrated into the open system as needed. The twodimensional graphical result representation and an adequate measurement data management complete the development.