Multi-Functional Robotic System for Civil Infrastructure Inspection




The deterioration of bridges and other civil infrastructure is inevitable. Routine inspection is critical to detect damage and prevent collapse. Non-destructive evaluation (NDE) method to monitor and assess the condition of bridges and other structures are valuable as it is a cost-effective. Our researchers have developed a multi-functional, non-destructive robotic system for inspecting civil infrastructure.



Researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno have developed a multi-functional robotic system for inspecting civil infrastructures. The system includes a mechanical robot and onboard machine learning, pattern recognition, and navigation software. It is functionally capable of performing and detecting: steel rebar evaluation, subsurface concrete damage, and non-destructive subsurface damage. Our team used the Sekur Jr mobile robot from Omron Adept Technologies as the base platform, equipped with multiple non-destructive evaluation (NDE) sensors as listed below. Our system utilizes autonomous navigation capabilities to traverse the surface of a civil structure to evaluate and monitor its condition at several locations. This system is capable of both outdoors and indoor use by making use of GPS and camera-based navigation, conferring functionality in parking structures as well as on bridges. The data from the sensors are fused to reduce inspection time and are processed to produce a comprehensive report.


The incorporated NDE sensors may include:

  • A digital single lens reflex (DLSR) camera for visual data and crack detection
  • A ground penetrating radar (GPR) for concrete rebar assessment inside the concrete deck
  • Electrical resistivity (ER) sensors for concrete corrosion assessment
    • The robotic system provides information on the condition of a concrete bridge deck. It can traverse to specified locations for ER survey, where water is dispensed on the concrete surface from an onboard tank, and measurements are taken using an ohmmeter correlated resistance to concrete condition
  • Other example components that may be incorporated into the system for navigation includes:
    • LIDAR, odometry, GPS, navigation camera, stereoscopic camera, inertial measurement unit (IMU)



  • Cost-effective
  • Real time evaluation
  • Minimal manual labor involved


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Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Shannon Sheehan
Manager, Technology Commercialization
University of Nevada, Reno
Hung (jim) La