Dynam.AI and GBA partnership combines drones with AI to detect infrastructure defects


Dynam.AI, a provider of end-to-end artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for multiple industries, has formed a partnership with engineering and architecture consultancy GBA to use drones to help agencies identify defects in bridge roadway surfaces with greater speed and efficiency.

According to a 2019 study from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), the USA has over 47,000 structurally deficient bridges. Traditionally, the collection of data to determine the location and severity of their structural deficiencies has been a manual process requiring ground crews and extensive lane closures, while simultaneously creating hazards for drivers, road workers and inspectors. The standard approach is costly due to required expenditures on traffic control and other personnel, as well as the economic impact of drivers stuck in traffic.

The joint solution from the new partnership uses GBA’s drone or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) survey technology and Dynam.AI’s Auguste image detection and classification algorithm with the goal of improving the accuracy, safety and cost effectiveness of infrastructure repairs. In this patent pending methodology, GBA deploys UAS with infrared (IR) thermography to evaluate the condition of concrete decks, overlayments and bridge joints; a feat that was awarded a 2019 Engineering Excellence Award by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) in May.

Empowered by the company’s proprietary UPx framework, Dynam.AI’s Auguste detection and analysis algorithm converts GBA’s UAS findings into robust data streams, detecting areas of decay with higher than 85% accuracy and associating that with an understanding of operational costs, timing and the overall impact of repairs. Known for its physics-driven AI models and techniques, Dynam.AI can convert the tremendous amount of data collected by the UAS into a 3D model to visualize anomalies. Using this solution is expected to save 70% in man-hours and the process that once took six weeks using the previous technology can now be completed in a matter of days.

“In an environment like bridge rehabilitation, where every percentage point of accuracy counts, precise, consistent and detailed data is paramount,” noted David Ferrell, managing director of Dynam.AI. “The integration of our market-leading AI algorithms and techniques with GBA’s extensive expertise in UAS technology results in a cutting-edge solution unmatched in its ability to determine with precision the ideal time for Departments of Transportation (DOTs) to fix our nation’s decaying infrastructure, allowing them to optimize resource investments and maximize public safety.”

Tim Ross, president and CEO of GBA, commented, “We are constantly looking for new technologies to solve existing problems and we found Dynam.AI to be similarly focused on streamlined solutions tailored to a project’s specific needs. Working together, we have created a significantly more efficient approach to collect information to substantiate bridge rehabilitation.”

Ben Lindner, advanced robotics and remote sensing group leader at GBA, added, “Using Dynam.AI’s industry-agnostic, platform-enabled solutions, we are continuing to innovate in transportation, as well as across the water, environment, building design, site development, systems integration, and construction management sectors.”

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Adam joined the company in 1994, and has been News Editor of TTT since 2009. In his other role as Circulation Manager, he helped create the original Traffic Technology International distribution list 23 years ago, and has been working on it ever since. Outside of work, he is a keen fisherman, runs a drumming band, and plays an ancient version of cricket.