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Computerizing Dangerous Work to
Make Inspections Safer and More Efficient
Computerizing Dangerous Work to Make Inspections Safer and More Efficient

Structural Inspections with Drones

Using drones and cameras to get visual data about the condition of bridges in hard to access locations

The aging and deterioration of structures such as bridges is becoming an urgent social issue for the state and for local authorities. However, the inspections required to maintain the safety of such structures involve considerable risks due to the fact they're difficult to access. In addition to this, the lack of inspectors and sufficient budget make this a serious challenge.
In order to find a solution to this problem, we started verification tests using drones with built-in cameras to carry out inspections in the place of human beings. The spherical shell drone with a built-in camera can safely capture macro shots of bridge floor slabs and supporting sections whilst maintaining an appropriate distance from the structure. Previously unseen sections have been made visible and, by computerizing tasks that had previously been done manually, we are attempting to reduce the inspection workload and ensure the safety of the inspectors, as well as to resolve manpower and budgetary issues.

Cutting down on office work as well

After the actual inspection of these structures, a lot of complicated office work still remains to be done, such as identifying areas of damage and writing reports. Ricoh's support for span inspections leverages the latest imaging technologies and aims to drastically reduce the amount of office work.
This system automatically reproduces the footage in 3D and creates panoramic images that give a high-angle view of the sections being inspected. Deterioration can easily be identified and the extent of the damage determined. In addition, the automatic creation of reports based on the inspection details is also supported. This not only greatly reduces the man-hours required but also leads to consistency in the quality of the reports. Spherical shell drones are used for structural inspections not only in bridges, but also in structures such as tunnels, high-rise buildings and factory facilities.
Ricoh aims to keep on provide total solutions for the inspection of such structures.

Inspection system for publicly-owned structures


Infrastructure inspection system

Spherical shell drones contribute to greater safety and efficiency in bridge inspections