Brief Project Description: The goal of this project is to develop a lightweight low-cost robot that helps to inspect culverts. Proper inspection of small culverts can prevent roadway failures, traffic disturbances, and reduce costly repairs. The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) has adopted a policy which requires all culverts to be inspected every five years. Because of this, approximately 9,600 small culverts must be inspected annually. In this project, a lightweight inspection vehicle, known as the Hydraulic Inspection Vehicle Explorer II (HIVE II), is designed to enable efficient and affordable small culvert inspection. This vehicle represents an upgrade over a successful first generation HIVE design. The HIVE II is designed, built, and tested to meet requirements specified by the Vermont Agency of Transportation. Optimal settings for video transmission telemetry through small culverts are understood through theory and a series of field tests. The HIVE II vehicle form factor is a modified remote control toy tank with caterpillar treads which provide adequate maneuverability through small, flooded culverts, and insertion and operation through drop inlets. Design details and field test results are presented.
Poster: [Click to enlarge]
Presenters: Dan Orfeo and Dryver Huston, University of Vermont
VTrans Champion: Michelle Redmond, Steven Stanley, Tyler Birchmore
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