David Lovell

Funding Agency

Maryland Department of Transportation




Pipe culverts are essential components of the infrastructure inventory of highway departments throughout the world. They conduct water through embankments and under roadways and bridges. They direct surface water away from driving surfaces and prevent damage due to erosion and overtopping. They can degrade over time and they can be damaged during installation. They are typically required to be inspected immediately and periodically throughout the remainder of their service lives.

These inspections can present logistical difficulties. Departments are increasingly turning to more sophisticated technical means of conducting inspections. The Maryland State Highway Administration and the Maryland Department of Transportation use ground crawler and aerial robots to aid in inspections. Both of these robots share challenges.

This research project will 1) identify and 2) remedy the shortcomings of existing ground and air-based sensor platforms. If no existing commercial solutions work well, the researchers will develop new hardware and software solutions to acceptably solve the issues presented.