ROBO-SPECT will be present in the upcoming ERF 2016 forum with a special workshop “Autonomous Robotic Systems for Inspection and Structural Assessment of Civil Underground Infrastructures” on Tuesday 22 March 2016. The aim of this workshop is to present the recent developments and future challenges of the autonomous robotic inspection systems. The focus will make on structural assessment of civil infrastructures such as highway and train tunnels, metro stations and underground storages.  The main robotics and sensors analysis technologies will be presented and discussed while stakeholders in the tunneling sector will be also present. 
This workshop can be attended by all ERF 2016 participants not only from the robotics sector but also from civil, tunneling or other societies.
Tuesday 22 March 2016:
10:45 – 10:50 – Welcome and Introduction (A.Amditis, ICCS (GR), J. G. Victores, UC3M (E), F. Fedi, Finmeccanica (I))
Welcome to workshop participants and workshop concept presentation. Presentation of major speaches and speakers.
10:50 – 11:05 – State-of-the-art on robotics tunnels´ inspection (C. Balaguer, UC3M (E))
Application of robotics technologies for civil underground infrastructures is one of the emerging field of R&D. This environment (mainly road and rail tunnels) is characterized by dust, humidity, absence of natural light and require periodical inspection and maintenance. These operations are commonly performed by human workers taking time and expertise without guarantee quality control. Robotic tunnel inspection and maintenance (RTIM) introduces high productivity, quality and repetitiveness. This presentation describes the current trends in the subject, and introduces new technologies such as scenario modeling, robotic platforms, image and ultrasound sensors, control algorithms and decision making strategies for such kind of applications.
11:05 – 11:20 – Future trends on civil robotics (T. Bock, TUM (D))
This presentation will show possible applications for advanced tunneling, road, bridge, tank, dam, space (moon colonies)-construction by robotics, tele-construction and future robotic town infrastructure management due to metropolization of cities where more than 60% of worlds’ population will live in urban areas requiring new infrastructure, robotic urban mining, closed loop recycling (real sustainability!) etc.
11:20 – 11:35 – Computer vision methodologies and algorithms for tunnel structural assessment (K. Loupos, ICCS (GR))
Computer vision methodologies for tunnel defects detection will be presented starting from a presentation of the state of the art and concluding to actually validated technologies. The presentation will also include recent results of crack and defects detection on tunnel surface as developed in the ROBO-SPECT EC project.
11:35 – 11:50 – Ultrasonic technologies for measuring crack width and depth in high accuracy (Luca Belsito, CNR (I))
The development of an automatic tool that can be used to measure the depth and width of cracks on board of a structural inspection robot will be presented. The system is constituted by two piezoelectric ultrasonic transducers with central frequency of 54 kHz that are utilized to take Time-of-Flight (ToF) ultrasound measurements across the crack to determine its depth and a potentiometer with submillimetric tip diameter used as mechanical profilometer for the crack width measurements.  The design, implementation, laboratory testing and early on-field testing of the system will be presented, showing its capability to perform automatic crack depth and width measurements  with millimetric  and submillimetric  precision respectively.
11:50 – 12:05 – End-users point of view: Tunnels´ inspection and assessment (P. Wright, CH2M Hill (UK))
Case studies of tunnel inspection and assessment are presented based mainly on London Underground. In some cases the inspection and assessment was critical to avoid subsequent tunnel failure. The role of instrumentation and monitoring and appropriate management systems to maintain the tunnels in a safe operational mode is discussed. In each case the causes of failure are explained and the question of how instrumentation and automated inspection and assessment could have been helpful to maintain the tunnels in a safe operational mode is discussed. The presentation concludes with some lessons to be understood regarding the safe maintenance of aging civil engineering infrastructure.
12:05 – 12:15 - Discussion and brainstorming
Workshop conclusions, discussion over presented topics, feedback on ROBO-SPECT activities by robotic partners and other stakeholders.
 More information about the European Robotic Forum can be found here (  and the full Program  ( 

This project is funded by the European Union