A survey on inspecting structures using robotic systems

Randa Almadhoun, Tarek Taha, Lakmal Seneviratne, Jorge Dias, Guowei Cai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Advancements in robotics and autonomous systems are being deployed nowadays in many application domains such as search and rescue, industrial automation, domestic services and healthcare. These systems are developed to tackle tasks in some of the most challenging, labour intensive and dangerous environments. Inspecting structures (e.g. bridges, buildings, ships, wind turbines and aircrafts) is considered a hard task for humans to perform and of critical importance since missing any details could affect the structure's performance and integrity. Additionally, structure inspection is time and resource intensive and should be performed as efficiently and accurately as possible. Inspecting various structures has been reported in the literature using different robotic platforms to: inspect difficult to reach areas and detect various types of faults and anomalies. Typically, inspection missions involve performing three main tasks: coverage path planning, shape, model or surface reconstruction and the actual inspection of the structure. Coverage path planning ensures the generation of an optimized path that guarantees the complete coverage of the structure of interest in order to gather highly accurate information to be used for shape/model reconstruction. This article aims to provide an overview of the recent work and breakthroughs in the field of coverage path planning and model reconstruction, with focus on 3D reconstruction, for the purpose of robotic inspection.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems
Issue number6
StatePublished - 18 Nov 2016


  • 3D reconstruction
  • anomaly detection
  • coverage path planning
  • Robotic inspection


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