Both repairs and refurbishment are a very long and costly process. Essentially every single inch has to be checked and reviewed to see what kind of repairs or additions it requires. The inspection process is done by humans which means that some aspects of infrastructure are subject to human error, running the risk of those problems that were missed escalating in the future and potentially causing major problems. To decrease the time required for the entire process and also to minimize or entirely erase the chance of errors in inspections, inspection processes need to change and technology needs to be used.
How Technology Can Change the Health of Our Infrastructure
Technology plays a major part in every walk of life, erasing the aspect of human error in most cases and providing efficient and quick solutions. The same is true when it comes to maintaining our infrastructure. Utilizing advanced technology to inspect infrastructure can provide in depth results which go to extents that human inspections cannot reach. By using radar, ultrasonics and other non destructive testing technologies, the cracks inside a building’s foundations and the rate with which they spread can be judged and other innovations from devices such as this can be utilized to check other aspects of infrastructure.
Maintenance is typically handled by human engineers that have conducted manual inspections the same way for the better part of the last 40-50 years. This may have been sufficient with newer structures but the infrastructure has aged past the point will manual inspections can continue to suffice. This is where robotic engineering comes in. By utilizing nondestructive testing technologies, new software and robots to maintain and fix buildings, the chance of human error decreases the process becomes far quicker and more efficient.
Technology essentially allows humans to not only find problems in infrastructure more efficiently and easily, but it also allows us to deal with those problems earlier on in the infrastructures lifecycle. This enables us to extend the service life of these critical infrastructure assets with a lower cost and a lower margin for error.