Congratulations! ROBSENSE has developed the I-800 drone platform on bridge-inspection

Congratulations! ROBSENSE has developed the I-800 drone platform on bridge-inspection

ROBSENSE and its partner, HIPSR1(Hefei Institute of Public Safety Research, Tsinghua University), had successfully completed a bridge-inspection case on 27th and 28th, April, which belongs to a city project called Urban Safety Lifeline(USL) in Hefei, China. The case has made the Beijing Global Safety Technology Co.,Ltd 2 (hereinafter referred to as GSAFETY) — the leading enterprise and China’s first listed company in the public safety and emergency management industry, the only research spin-off of the Institute of Public Safety Research (IPSR), Tsinghua University — satisfied on high efficiency, security and reliability for bridge inspection tasks by I-800 drone platform, instead of the ineffective telescope and human climbing. HIPSR is responsible for detection, data collection and analysis, whereas ROBSENSE makes contributes on industrial drone platform and interfaces support.


Group photo of ROBSENSE and HIPSR case members

The on-road Urban Safety Lifeline construction aims to establish an operation monitoring system, which government can realize the status from network of bridges, gas and water supply pipes. And then, technical methods from HIPSR are easy to monitor and analysis status data to achieve early warnings.

Operation & monitoring center for Hefei urban safety & security

As the construction cost of a bridge is very high, and a health inspection determines the safety of transportation and the safety of people’s lives and property, the inspection plays an extreme significant role in ensuring the safe operation of bridges and prolonging its service life, that means, government can realize bridge diseases as early as possible through analyzing the collected data, so that timely repairs and reinforcements can be carried out in advance to save the maintenance cost and improve the comprehensive economy benefit.


In addition to the need for a high level of detection technology (infrared thermal imager detection technology, optical fiber sensor detection technology, acoustic detection technology, etc.), bridge-inspection processes must ensure the safety of workers. Today, the main method for these tasks is utilizing bridge inspection vehicles to inspect a long bridge section by section.

Bridge inspection vehicles

Difficulties of bridge inspection

Although the traditional inspection method meets the requirements of the above two requirements, two critical shortcomings are concluded obviously that its efficiency is very low, and takes a long time. The most important disadvantage is that this method cannot inspect the connection between the side and the top of bridges such as suspension bridges and cable-stayed bridges. If human climbing is used to tackle the problem, there are much great security risks during the processes and lower efficiency than before. Recent common methods are high-power telescope observation on the side of the bridge, and the top is not well inspected. However, the emergence and application of drones provide new ideas for bridge inspections.

I-800 drone platform of RobSense

Ground control staffs

With the successful experience on USL project, ROBSENSE has completely done a benchmark case in the field of bridge-inspection applications, and verified its feasibility and reliability of I-800 solution. The in-service I-800 drone platform is independently developed by ROBSENSE and deeply customized for bridge inspection. It supports dual 30-time cameras on the top and bottom simultaneously, and inspects bridges in all directions. The RTK device is equipped to obtain the precise position within 5cm difference and customers can easily operate the drone to collect real-time images and videos by a handle tablet. In other cases, ROBSENSE also provides multiple payloads such as infrared camera and dual-vision camera.

Inspection of Nanfeihe Bridge

The first inpection site is choosed at Nanfeihe Bridge in Hefei and there are two difficulties for bridge inspection. Usually, the strengh of GPS signal under the bridges is not strong enough to support a drone flying when GPS stars are less than nine. If the drone is forced to work in this situation, accidents would occur because of the weaken GPS. But, the I-800 has been equipped with a enhanced GPS module, so that GPS stars are more than 12 during the inspection task.

Scene under the bridge

Magnetic shield is another big problem. ROBSENSE has made efforts to improve algorithms and developed protection mechanisms by the software in fight controller.

Training with HIPSR

At last, team from ROBSENSE trained the operators detailedly.

I-800 UAV Platform Project Contact:

*1 HIPSR: Institute of Public Safety Research, Tsinghua University is committed to the development of public safety science and technology. Facing major national public safety needs, aiming at the frontier of world public safety science and technology, attracting, aggregating, and cultivating world-class talents with new management mechanisms, and studying key technologies such as scientific theories, methodologies, prevention, and emergency management, and integrated integration of public disaster prevention and control; To build a comprehensive open research platform for public safety, and to establish a public safety scientific theory system, technological innovation system and discipline system, and to form a continuous innovation capability of public safety technology.


*2 Beijing Global Safety Technology Co.,Ltd:Beijing Global Safety Technology Co.,Ltd. (known as GSAFETY) is a high-tech enterprise originating from Tsinghua University dedicated to industrialization and commercialization of public safety and emergency technology research undertaken by Tsinghua University Institute of Public Safety Research (the Institute). Building on the technical advantages of Tsinghua University and the Institute, the company develops new products and services for public safety and emergency response to meet the requirements of domestic and international markets.


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