By the end of 2022, an aging society will be an issue for the government to manage. At the same time, buildings have the same problem. As buildings age, the need for inspection and repair increases to avoid the risk of falling objects and other related safety issues, with cracks providing an important message regarding the safety and durability of buildings. Therefore, how to detect and analyze cracks in buildings will become more important.
As the building is aging, how easy is it to check the security?
According to the Real Estate Information Platform of the Ministry of the Interior, in the fourth quarter of 2021, there are nearly 4.5 million houses in Taiwan that are more than 30 years old, accounting for 50% of the total, and is even higher in the six municipalities. In Taipei City, the proportion of houses over 30 years old is 71.3%, the highest in Taiwan.
In addition, there are more than 20,000 bridges in Taiwan that need to be inspected regularly. In the past, it was the hard-working inspector who was responsible for the safety of these bridges. To improve the bridge maintenance and management system, the Executive Yuan established new measures to maintain the safety of public passage. However, bridge damage is often located in inaccessible areas, so getting close to the facilities for inspection is impossible, which has become a major problem.
Variable environment aggravates the rusting situation
Taiwan is located in the Pacific Rim seismic zone, the frontal plane of the rainy season, and the main path of the western Pacific typhoon, earthquakes, and concentrated heavy rainfall are often the cause of disasters, and these buildings and bridges face a variety of survival challenges. Cracks, rust, aging, and deterioration of building materials are severe problems, in addition to regular inspection, after each natural disaster also needs to take risks to strengthen the inspection, one can not help but let the inspectors a long sigh.
Many structures, such as wood, brick, reinforced concrete, etc., may have cracks due to weathering, external forces, and design deficiencies that cause material deterioration. When cracks are created in reinforced concrete, moisture, oxygen, chloride ions, and other factors can enter through the cracks more easily, accelerating the corrosion of the reinforcing steel and causing adverse effects. To avoid irreversible accidents, we must pay attention to safety inspections and prevent every crack and defect.
Application of drones and AI to reduce detection risks
It is not easy to detect these defects manually. Except for very few buildings that have relevant safety aids, the rest of the security inspectors have to risk their lives by climbing up and down in the wind and rain to collect data on various defects resulting in long hours, high cost, and high risk. Fortunately, AI can help.
The rapid development of drone technology in recent years, through the way of aerial observation, can solve the problem of inaccessibility and significantly reduce personnel safety concerns, thereby improving operational efficiency. The drone captures all the necessary image data, and then mark the damage on the exterior of the bridge or building, and then pass it to AI for processing and analysis, to catch the invisible cracks and defects hidden in the building. It can assist the security inspectors to conduct inspections more effectively and evaluate the health status of the bridge more precisely for early repair or reconstruction.
Security inspection to stay away from threats
The use of AI has been gradually integrated into our daily lives. In addition to Taiwan, other international cities have similar situations. In Hong Kong, for example, it is estimated that by 2040, one-third of the housing stock will be over 65 years old, with an increased chance of high risk. Therefore, the use of AI for inspection is a matter of urgency. Here is a video of our crack detection demonstration.
Analyze the value of applications to provide higher-quality services
In addition to the above, we can also use a drone to create 3D models and compare the sets of images to analyze the differences. With the continuous development of smart cities and the IoT, a visual platform that links all kinds of information from the real world is available. In building inspection, the building height and area information can be integrated with the 3D city model, and the difference between the building permit and the actual condition can be visually indicated.； In the bridge inspection section, the AI identifies the area and type of damage in the photo and integrates it with the 3D model for interactive operation.
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