Publications / 1988 Proceedings of the 5th ISARC, Tokyo, Japan

Advanced Robotics in the Field of Survey/Inspection Maintenance and Repair of Buildings and Structures

R A Radevsky, F K Garas
Pages 877-886 (1988 Proceedings of the 5th ISARC, Tokyo, Japan, ISSN 2413-5844)

"With increasing resources being devoted to the field of inspection and maintenance of buildings and structures, the use of robots to carry out this type of work is a natural development. In order to carry out survey/inspection maintenance and repair, it is currently necessary to gain access to the faces of buildings and structures by scaffolding, abseiling, mechanical access platforms or other similar means. This is invariably, time consuming and may limit the tasks that can be carried out. In some cases access to parts of a structure may be extremely difficult and dangerous by conventional means. When placed in conditions that are far from ideal, the quality of work undertaken by engineers and construction workers may deteriorate owing to fatigue or distraction. In addition, the process of manual recording of data during surveys or installation of repair materials is often subject to human error and the level of skill of the operator. Human beings also have a limited ability to repeat tasks with precision over an extended interval or on similar structures. They are also limited in the number of operations they can undertake at any one time. Many of these problems are potentially solvable by developing and deploying robots in place of human beings. As part of the British Department of Trade and Industry’s Advance Robotics Initiative, Civil Engineering and Construction Project, the required performance and capabilities of such a robot are being examined. Vehicle configuration, methods of mobility, sensors, instruments and too requirements are being assessed, together with power supply, on board and off board computing capability and communication systems. Consideration is being given to building and structure surface characteristics, survey, maintenance and repair objectives, currently available robotic systems and hardware, and probable future developments in relevant technologies in general. This work is being led by Taylor Woodrow Construction Limited in a co-ordinated programme with participants from a wide cross section of the industry. Although the study is at an early stage, the paper describes the work and approach adopted in the project, particularly addressing the enabling technologies."

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