Japanese Company testing automated quad-copter UAV designed to survey bridge construction

by Shayne Rana


Drones, quad-copters and UAVs (unmanned air vehicles) are being used very frequently for a wide range of services across the bar with big names like Dominoes and NatGeo using them for various purposes. Now, they’re even going to help inspect bridge and other building constrictions. As part if the NEXCO East “smart highway maintenance” of (SMH) initiative, a UAV quad-copter is being tested that would be used to survey the new bridge erected over the Kanetsu Tone River Bridge in Gunma Prefecture. This would normally be done manually wherein a person would be required to inspect all aspects of the construction. The demo of initiated for the SMH service was to try and make the survey job easier and faster by deploying UAVs to scout around the bridge construction and capture detailed footage of all aspects, including the hard to reach areas.

The VTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) system of the quad-copter was the best option to use as a UAV and it also makes controlling and maneuvering the device a lot easier. The quad-copter used features 4 rotors – 80 × 80 × 20cm in (height × length × width). It weighs in at about 1.5kgs and can reach heights of up to 25 meters, as per the demo. It has a battery pack placed on the top of the central unit with a mount for a HD or 4K camera below. The UAV is designed to be fully automated so controlling via a remote won’t even be necessary. Once again we see the tremendous potential that the UAV type technology can provide when it comes to surveying areas, providing medical relief or even, as in this case, construction. The designers are working on various models of this UAV that would also include camera set up options at the top of the devices as well. It’s due to go into full effect by around 2014 if all tests are successful.

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[Via – Impress]

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