Research and Development on Robotic Technologies for Infrastructure Maintenance
Keiji Nagatani* and Yozo Fujino**
*The University of Tokyo
7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan
**Yokohama National University
79-5 Tokiwadai, Hodogaya, Yokohama, Kanagawa 240-8501, Japan
Construction of infrastructures, such as bridges and tunnels, has increased significantly in Japan in the past 50 years. Most of the civil infrastructure is now aging rapidly. Basic infrastructure maintenance and management require proper repairing and reinforcement, for which periodic inspections are indispensable. Inspection of civil infrastructure, however, requires a large amount of workforce for traffic regulation and accessing difficult-to-reach locations. Occupational safety is also an important issue that cannot be ignored. Furthermore, technologies related to emergency responses after the occurrence of natural disasters are important, especially with the increasing number of natural disasters recently. Executing a safe and quick disaster response action is very challenging. To meet the above problems, “Infrastructure Maintenance, Renovation and Management” was established in the Cross-ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP). Research and development programs for infrastructure management systems using new technologies had been conducted since 2014. In this paper, the research and development programs related to robotic technologies are described. Specifically, robotic technologies for bridge inspection, tunnel inspection, and disaster responses are introduced. In addition, the scheme of the SIP regional bases that facilitates the availability of the developed technologies to local governments is also introduced.
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