Underwater Inspection Robot

Checking Health of Our Dam

Senior Operator,
Dam Management Company

I am doing a health exam on our dam. I am making sure that there are no cracks or damage to the dam wall or foundation, what we call the “structure trunk.” This dam is so huge that it would take a tremendous amount of time and be cost prohibitive to use divers to check it out. That’s why we are relying on the Panasonic’s underwater robot for dam inspection. This robot contains a camera that can resist water pressure at 200 meters underwater and can check every part of the dam in precision.

Underwater images shot by people tend to be shaky and unstable. But this robot can move with precision, using autonomous control in three axes: vertical, horizontal, and forward-reverse. So it can capture images without blurriness or shakiness. The water around the dam is never clear, due to floaters and murkiness, but the robot is equipped with Uniform Illumination Technology developed by applying knowhow from automobile headlights. It also uses Image Sharpening Technology that adjusts brightness and contrast. This provides clear images for us to check for any problems.

It’s great that Panasonic can also give us support services for images taken by the robot, including image analysis and data management. I think that these technology and services would be great for health checks for other social infrastructure such as for bridges and tunnels, not just for dam inspection.

The technology and solutions presented here were announced in the above press release or exhibition. Some are in the R&D stage or are under consideration for commercialization.

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