Danijel Rebolj, Riko Šafarič, Andrej Šorgo and Nenad Čuš Babič
SMARTCON, Self-Maintaining and Rejuvenating Constructions
Abstract: Infrastructure systems are established and maintained to satisfy our societal needs for living and transport. The European Roadmap for Cross-Modal Transport Infrastructure Innovation states that by 2030 an improvement of 50% in infrastructure performance, risk and cost versus a 2010 baseline should be achieved. However, current maintenance methods require intense engagement of highly trained experts and exposure to hazards, they are time consuming and hinder the normal use of constructions. Since infrastructure systems are not able to "care for themselves" they create a heavy burden for society in terms of regular maintenance and total cost of ownership. Therefore, SMARTCON proposes to transform passive constructions into smart structures able to take care of themselves. The envisaged system shall consist of a biomimetic swarm of robots able to perform continuous inspection, analysis of inspected indicators, decision support systems to advise on necessary maintenance or rejuvenation actions and to evaluate implemented actions. The paper is presenting the SMARTCON concept, the preliminary research, and the intended results of a three-year project beginning in early 2017. The project is focusing on bridges as they are considered to be among the most critical infrastructure objects.
Keywords: Automation, Infrastructure, Bridges, Inspection, Maintenance, Rejuvenation, Robot Swarm, Biomimetics
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