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Robotic Device for 3D Imaging of Scour Around Bridge Piles

[+] Author Affiliations
James C. Fadool, Griffin Francis, Jonathan E. Clark, Guifeng Liu, Victor DeBrunner

FAMU-FSU, Tallahassee, FL

Paper No. DETC2012-71335, pp. 1125-1131; 7 pages
  • ASME 2012 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4: 36th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, Parts A and B
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, August 12–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4503-5
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


Bridge scour is an important concern for standing structures with piles footed underwater. The scour process that leads to the weakening of bridge foundations can result in (unexpected) loss of service, and can create unsafe conditions for the vehicles and persons using the bridge, particularly during flood conditions. Currently, stationary devices or divers are deployed to detect this condition; however these devices are expensive and diving in such conditions is inherently dangerous. Therefore, a need exists for an inexpensive and portable system that is able to determine and estimate the amount of scour around a pile. One approach is to use a sonar based scanning system, to construct a 3D image for interpretations and evaluations analysis. This paper details prototype development, image processing procedure, and initial experimental results of such a device.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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