US: Florida’s 11,450 bridges will soon get an all new maintenance network. The Florida Department of Transportation has given Florida Atlantic University a grant of $187,000 to develop unmanned marine vehicles. These unmanned vessels will inspect bridges without human intervention. And they would do so for prolonged periods of time without getting tired. The development is important particularly because bridges that span warm seawater are prone to corrosion. Since their regular inspection is very important, the transport department examines each bridge at least once every two years. Often, fast flowing tidal currents, waves, strong winds and the presence of wildlife make these inspections quite difficult for the personnel. The unmanned surface vehicles should prove to be of great help. The university is especially focusing on developing technologies like automatic path planning, remote supervisory control and active mapping.
Source: Marine link