Device Detects and Fills Tarmac Cracks as it Moves Along Road

Posted on 7/16/2012 9:05:53 AM By The Engineer (United Kingdom)

Researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) have developed a new way to detect and fill cracks in road pavement. The device, which is pulled on a trailer by a vehicle moving at 3 miles per hour, uses two different colored LED lights pointing in different directions to illuminate the road surface. A stereo camera is then used to take two 3D images of the pavement. Those images are fed into analytical software that locates cracks in the pavement and guides a set of nozzles so that sealant can be applied. The system is capable of detecting and filling cracks in the road surface that are as small as 0.125 inches over an area roughly one foot wide. But since the system only has an accuracy rate of 83 percent, more work needs to be done to the detection algorithm so that it can be used for commercial applications. In addition, a full-scale detection and filling system could require a fusion of a number of imaging sensors as well as a different method for supplying the sealant to the nozzles.

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