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Remotely deployable aerial inspection using tactile sensors

Macleod, C. N.; Cao, J.; Pierce, S. G.; Sullivan, J. C.; Pipe, A. G.; Dobie, G.; Summan, R.


C. N. Macleod

J. Cao

S. G. Pierce

G. Dobie

R. Summan


For structural monitoring applications, the use of remotely deployable Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) inspection platforms offer many advantages, including improved accessibility, greater safety and reduced cost, when compared to traditional manual inspection techniques. The use of such platforms, previously reported by researchers at the University Strathclyde facilitates the potential for rapid scanning of large areas and volumes in hazardous locations. A common problem for both manual and remote deployment approaches lies in the intrinsic stand-off and surface coupling issues of typical NDE probes. The associated complications of these requirements are obviously significantly exacerbated when considering aerial based remote inspection and deployment, resulting in simple visual techniques being the preferred sensor payload. Researchers at Bristol Robotics Laboratory have developed biomimetic tactile sensors modelled on the facial whiskers (vibrissae) of animals such as rats and mice, with the latest sensors actively sweeping their tips across the surface in a back and forth motion. The current work reports on the design and performance of an aerial inspection platform and the suitability of tactile whisking sensors to aerial based surface monitoring applications. © 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.


Macleod, C. N., Cao, J., Pierce, S. G., Sullivan, J. C., Pipe, A. G., Dobie, G., & Summan, R. (2014). Remotely deployable aerial inspection using tactile sensors. AIP Conference Proceedings, 1581, 1873-1880.

Journal Article Type Conference Paper
Conference Name 40TH Annual Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation: Incorporating the 10th International Conference on Barkhausen Noise and Micromagnetic Testing
Conference Location Baltimore, Maryland
Start Date Jul 21, 2013
End Date Jul 26, 2013
Acceptance Date Jul 21, 2013
Online Publication Date Feb 17, 2015
Publication Date Feb 18, 2014
Journal AIP Conference Proceedings
Print ISSN 0094-243X
Electronic ISSN 1551-7616
Publisher AIP Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 1581
Pages 1873-1880
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : 40th Annual Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation