Wireless sensors and flying robots: A way to monitor deteriorating bridges

As a report from the Obama administration warns that one in four bridges in the United States needs significant repair or cannot handle automobile traffic, Tufts University engineers are employing wireless sensors and flying robots that could have the potential to help authorities monitor the condition of bridges in real time. Continue reading “Wireless sensors and flying robots: A way to monitor deteriorating bridges”

Can Big Data Make Our Bridges Safer?

Even though bridges are inanimate hulks made of steel and/or concrete, they tend to behave like organic beings, responding imperceptibly to the impact of traffic, weather or even poor design. Each time a car or truck thunders over it, a bridge strains, vibrates, deforms, tilts, displaces, cracks and in the process is irrevocably changed. Being able to measure and track these tiny changes is critical if we are to be able to predict which bridge needs modest repair work, which one is in imminent danger of collapse and which one will still has decades left to go. And that is where Big Data comes in. Continue reading “Can Big Data Make Our Bridges Safer?”