Robot-Assisted Bridge Inspection Academic Article uri icon


  • The Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASAR) deployed a customized AEOS 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 key tasks in subsurface bridge inspection (mapping of the debris field and inspecting the bridge footings for scour), control challenges (navigation under loss of GPS, underwater obstacle avoidance, and stable positioning in high currents without GPS), 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 increased state sensing for reliability), and discussed the cooperative use of surface, underwater, and aerial vehicles. The article posits seven milestones in the development of a fully functional UMV for bridge inspection: standardize mission payloads, add health monitoring, improve teleoperation through better human-robot interaction, add 3D obstacle avoidance, improve station-keeping, handle large data sets, and support cooperative sensing. 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Murphy, R. R., Steimle, E., Hall, M., Lindemuth, M., Trejo, D., Hurlebaus, S., Medina-Cetina, Z., & Slocum, D.

citation count

  • 79

complete list of authors

  • Murphy, Robin R||Steimle, Eric||Hall, Michael||Lindemuth, Michael||Trejo, David||Hurlebaus, Stefan||Medina-Cetina, Zenon||Slocum, Daryl

publication date

  • October 2011