Climbing Robot for Steel Bridge Inspection: Engineering Challenges
- Publication no: ABC-AAI202-14
- Published: 22 October 2014
Inspection of bridges often requires high-risk operations such as working at heights, in confined spaces, in hazardous environments, or sites inaccessible by humans. There is significant motivation for robotic solutions which can carry out these inspection tasks. When inspection robots are deployed in real-world inspection scenarios, it is inevitable that unforeseen challenges will be encountered.Since 2011, the New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services, and the Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems at the University of Technology, Sydney, have been working together to develop an innovative climbing robot to inspect high-risk locations on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Many engineering challenges have been faced throughout the development of several prototype climbing robots, and through field trials in the archways of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This paper highlighst some of the key challenges faced in designing a climbing robot for inspection, and then present an inchworm-inspired robot which addresses many of these challenges.