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19-3 Hydraulic Inspection Vehicle Explorer (HIVE) Culvert Upgrade

Project Dates: Oct 1, 2019 - Sep 30, 2020
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.


Factsheet                    Video                    TRB Video                  RAC HVR Video                Other

Reports                   Archived Documents

Related Symposium Pages  
2021 Symposium   
2020 Symposium


Daniel Orfeo, Dryver Huston and Tian Xia (UVM)

Champion(s)/TAC members:

Michelle Redmond, Steven Stanley, Tyler Birchmore


No Boundaries Transporation Maintenance Innovations featured HIVE 2.0 upgrade in June 2021 article.
This project was featured at the 2022 Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting.
This project was selected as an AASHTO Research Activities Committee High Value Research project for 2021.
This prototype is currently being used by District 6. 
New Mexico DOT Drainage Design Bureau inquired about the HIVE 2.0 and are interested in building one.
Moab Uranium Mill Tailing Remedial Action DOE Project inquired about the HIVE 2.0 and are interested in building one.
MaineDOT inquired about the HIVE 2.0 and are interested in building one.


**Posters, Fact Sheets, Presentation Recordings and Other Materials are prepared for our September Research and Innovation Symposium each year. This page includes the latest materials. Check back in September for updated materials related to this project.