Robotically-assisted inspection technology being developed with regional business Whitsunday Moorings and Marine Construction to detect structural faults has attracted a State innovation grant.
Dr Adnan Trakic from The University of Queensland’s School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering will receive a $300,000 mid-career Industry Research Fellowship for the project.
Dr Trakic said the funding would enable him to develop technology that would penetrate structures with microwave signals to be able to deliver 50-times more accurate and 300-times faster detection of deep-interior structural defects in Queensland tunnels, buildings, roads, bridges, mining infrastructure and sea facilities.
“This technology, which combines microwave systems with cutting-edge robotic technology and artificial intelligence algorithms, has great potential because it will be the first gold standard structural inspection system for both terrestrial and underwater applications,” Dr Trakic said.
“Not only will an automated and robotic scanning system deliver better results, it will also be more cost-effective and circumvent the tedious and inaccurate manual inspection.
“The applications are almost endless, and this technology will be able to be used to detect rust and cracks in concrete in roads, buildings, tunnels, bridges, mining facilities and marine areas including pylons, ports and vessels.
“Queensland has a harsh environment, and factors such as sea salt and variations in humidity, temperature and wind, particularly during storms and cyclones, can lead to serious degradations in civil and marine infrastructure over time, thereby necessitating a robust, efficient and accurate automated inspections system, which is what this project aims to deliver.”
Dr Trakic’s funding was among $7.2 million Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowships announced today to support 30 researchers working in collaboration with Queensland companies.
The fellowships are part of the $650 million whole-of-government Advance Queensland initiative to foster innovation and build a more diversified Queensland economy, creating jobs now and for the future.