Robot inspector for building inspection

Clay Technology magazine
21 Oct 2016

A robot armed with cameras and laser scanners could soon be used for inspecting buildings in Singapore, Ellis Davies reports.

The QuicaBot, or Quality Inspection and Assessment Robot, is the result of collaboration between Nanyang Technological University, JTC and CtrlWorks, Singapore.

The robot can autonomously scan a room for defects such as cracks, uneven surfaces and hollowness in tiles using an on-board camera and laser sensor. The researchers claim that the machine can complete this task in half the time of the average manual inspection, and that a fleet of QuicaBots could make short work of the job. Two hours’ charge will power the robot for three days.

Once the inspection is complete, the robot is able to upload 3D data scans to the cloud for a human operator to critically inspect, giving attention to any complex defects. 

The development of the QuicaBot is supported by the National Research Foundation Singapore under the NTU Robotic Research Centre’s Test-Bedding and Demonstration of Innovative Research funding initiative. The project aims to automate and speed up building inspections, while remaining inline with the Building & Construction Authority standards. 

The robot has cleared small-scale lab testing, and will be test-bedded at locations within JTC, Singapore’s national industrial developer, in the hope that it will be able to provide high-quality inspections that are precise and consistent, while reducing the time and manpower needed to conduct such processes. This testing will occur in early 2017, with success leading to commercialisation.