Aging dams become serious problem.
Aging dams in Japan have been a serious problem. Dam inspections is currently performed by divers by visual checks. There are several challenges for the diving inspections, operation difficulties, especially in poor visibility conditions, physical exhaustion, and the time limitation to stay in deep water.
Use of robots for large-scale infrastructure inspections to solve social challenges.
Autonomous robots for dam inspection can reduce operation burden and hazardous tasks as well as labor costs. High definition image quality is required to realize automatic analysis for aging condition. Our robot is able to automatically keep the same posture under water with autonomous control to avoid blurring image to capture high-definition images.
In collaboration with an in-house engineering team, we succeeded in combining a robot with image processing technology that is used for our flagship products including cameras and sensors. We also teamed up with other in-house teams, including the sonar technology team to mount an accelerometer on a robot to keep the same posture, the lighting engineering team to evenly illuminate an area to be captured. A variety of technologies came together to create this outstanding robot as if every piece of a jigsaw puzzle was gathered and fit perfectly together. Recorded inspection videos are clearly superior compared to those of other companies.
Technologies are introduced not to take over the work of humans but to do what humans can’t do.
While it is incredibly hard to create something which doesn’t exit yet, though it profoundly motivated the members who were working on the project. Our development team considered the client’s inspection procedure and analyzed each step in it. We succeeded in reducing the operator’s burden by autonomous control to keep the same distance and depth from the wall. We took requests from the field seriously like “Can you make something to do such things?” and carefully considered and realized.
Our development team wants to expand into areas where the techology is applicable, ranging from inspection using robotics and IT technologies to smart maintenance, and further to next-generation robotics. We aim to continue developing our technology.