A robot that looks like a small tank 1.8 meters tall moves slowly through a tunnel.
As the cameras on the robot's arms scan the concrete lining, both big and small cracks appear on the computer screen.
Based on the information transmitted from the robot, not only is the size of the cracks detected, but it also shows which ones need urgent repair.
The A.I. robot is able to do so as it has studied thousands of images of cracks on roads and other asphalt surfaces.
"We can't easily find damaged infrastructure around us, but we still needed virtual data. So we altered and used data from road cracks and other such asphalt cracks."
In the past, people have had to go into the tunnels or other underground structures themselves and examine the surfaces for cracks with special microscopes.
But this robot can detect cracks that are finer than zero.three millimeters.
Also, because these A.I. robots are autonomous, or self-driving, they can maneuver through tunnels, sewers and even underground facilities that are difficult to access, without people having to go in themselves.
"If a crack grows in length or width, it means there's an external force being applied. This can pose a safety risk."
As time passes, these tunnels need constant management and repair the Korean research team plans to add functions to the A.I. robot so that it not only detects cracks but also leaks or fires.
Lee Eunjin, Arirang News.