Digital inspection technologies
The main objective of the project is to reduce the exposure of personnel to traffic and improve road network availability. OMICRON develops an array of robotic solutions with drones and automatic inspection vehicles to make road inspections fast and safe.
Drones are an ideal solution for the robotisation of road inspections. OMICRON develops solutions to enable the coordination of multiple inspection drones. This way we can increase inspection efficiency, reliability and the covered area. OMICRON also develops Detect & Avoid technologies for these drones, to further enhance the safe application of UAVs over long distances. These technologies are used to create high-quality aerial images and 3D maps of the road infrastructure to be fed to the Road Digital Twin.
This system uses a new vehicle sensor combination formed by a mini laser scanner, a mini computer-vision camera and a mini near-infrared camera to capture the state of the pavement and surrounding road structures. With all the information collected, it computes traditional road inspection parameters in an automated way, via the use of artificial intelligence algorithms.
Vehicle-Infrastructure communication technologies are communication systems that provide the necessary information for the road control centre. The system will inform road users on maintenance unit locations, traffic state, safety warnings, weather, smart routing or vehicle speed limits, among others.
The predictive maintenance enabling developments in the project consists of two highly inter-connected technologies: the Road Digital Twin and the Decision Support Tool.
The Road Digital Twin is a digital representation of the infrastructure. The data to populate the digital twin comes from digital inspections and other external sources such as weather and traffic. OMICRON collects the outputs of the digital inspection technologies in the following manner: the road inspection vehicle provides a detailed representation of the pavement and surrounding signalling assets, while the UAVs provide an overall view of the rest of the infrastructure including bridges, earthworks and surrounding structures. Using all of this information and knowledge, full support is provided to the management of road intervention actions and the Decision Support Tool.
The Decision Support Tool supports the analysis of the information captured and stored by the Digital Twin. It applies optimisation and Artificial Intelligence techniques to evaluate infrastructure conditions and plan road intervention actions.
Smart intervention and maintenance
OMICRON uses robotic, automation and digitalisation technologies to enhance road maintenance works. This area of the project develops and demonstrates various technologies, including:
An innovative Modular Robotic Platform will be designed and developed to support multiple road maintenance actions. The platform supports emergency interventions, routine interventions and extraordinary interventions. This robotic platform is teleoperated with a web-based Virtual Reality platform. It can install road signals, clean traffic signals and lights, install safety barriers, remove horizontal markings and seal pavements cracks.
OMICRON develops Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality based tools to support road workers in various tasks, aiming to reduce hazards related to machinery and traffic conditions.
Combined digital and automated solutions will be developed to support the replacement of surface pavement layers. They will enhance pavement overlay, extension, compaction and human-operator decision making, meanwhile fostering the use of Asphalt for Ultra-Thin Layers.
OMICRON develops pre-manufactured structural components and connections for road construction as well as automation technologies to support the process. This results in faster and more efficient road and bridge construction, and reduced traffic disruptions