Robot-Assisted Bridge Inspection after Hurricane Ike
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The Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASAR®) deployed the custom Sea-RAI man-portable unmanned surface vehicle and two commercially available underwater vehicles (the autonomous YSI EcoMapper and the tethered VideoRay) for inspection of the Rollover Pass bridge in the Bolivar peninsula of Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. A preliminary domain analysis with the vehicles identified two key tasks in subsurface bridge inspection (mapping of the debris field and inspecting the bridge footings for scour), three research challenges (navigation under loss of GPS, underwater obstacle avoidance, and stable positioning in high currents without GPS), and possible improvements to human-robot interaction (having additional display units so that mission specialists can view and operate on imagery independently of the operator control unit, incorporating 2-way audio to allow operator and field personnel to communicate while launching or recovering the vehicle, and the inclusion of teleoperation as the backup mode for autonomy). An additional research question is the cooperative use of surface and underwater vehicles.
author list (cited authors)
Murphy, R. R., Steimle, E., Hall, M., Lindemuth, M., Trejo, D., Hurlebaus, S., Medina-Cetina, Z., & Slocum, D.