Scientists in Singapore have created a building inspection robot that is said to be more objective and thorough than their human counterpart, while getting the job done in half the time. Roselle Chen reports.
QuicaBot is a new building inspection robot designed to do the job of its human counterpart in half the time. Common building defects include cracks and unevenness in walls, ceilings, and floors. To detect them manually, a building inspector uses measurement tools. QuicaBot uses a thermal infrared camera and uploads 3D data of the defects to a cloud storage system. Its makers say a major advantage over human building inspectors is that QuicaBot can work non-stop for 36 hours, and takes just two hours to charge. It's also more objective and impossible to influence in order to pass an inspection test. The project's leader is assistant professor Erdal Kayacan at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MECHANICAL AND AEROSPACE ENGINEERING, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR ERDAL KAYACAN, SAYING: "It's not only the bribing problem, it's also the psychology of the human. You may get tired, or you may just get bored when you are doing this inspection, because you're always doing the same thing. Our aim is not to replace all the manual inspectors by this robot. Our aim is to make some of the finishing defects (detected) in an autonomous way. In this way, the manual inspector can focus on more sophisticated problems." Problems like staircases. Kayacan said the cost of the robot is equivalent to a human building inspector's yearly salary. It's likely to be rented out rather than bought outright. QuicaBot was developed in just a year and will be ready for commercial deployment in a few months.