Automation is replacing human workers and eliminating jobs in all sorts of sectors, which could now include bridge inspection. Developed by a robotics team led by Spencer Gibb at the University of Nevada, this bridge-surveying droid detects faults and can determine the health of the structure with a ground-penetrating radar.
The waterproof robot is battery-powered with four wheels and electrical resistivity sensors that search for corroded steel and compromised concrete. Surface cracks can also be seen with its camera.
Following four different tests in three different states, the autonomous contraption proved more accurate than its human bridge inspection counterparts. The construction solution takes the same amount of time to scan bridges, but processes the data at a significantly faster rate.