Kiwa and Spotscale develop world’s first 3D AI recognition system for concrete structures
Kiwa Sweden and tech company Spotscale have entered into a partnership agreement for the development of the inspection technology of the future – one that uses AI to predict the lifetime of concrete structures.
AI, artificial intelligence, provides the opportunity to use high-resolution images taken by drones to map not only very minor but also major damage to inspected constructions (such as bridges, dams, power stations and water towers, for example). This technology can be used to monitor millions of individual flaws and defects as well as to categorise them in a way that is impossible to achieve with conventional inspection methods. The advantages for customers are many: dramatically enhanced quality, time savings and better control over the condition of concrete constructions.
Concrete: not that everlasting after all
In the early 1900s, reinforced concrete was considered a material with no or little need for maintenance and as good as everlasting. This has, however, since proven to be untrue. As a result, Europe is now home to an incredible amount of defective concrete infrastructure and damaged buildings.
Large structures, small cracks
Spotscale is a Swedish technology company at the cutting edge of 3D, image analysis and machine learning. Thanks to the company’s ability to process large quantities of image material in the cloud, the condition of various types of building surfaces can be analysed into every detail. This provides valuable insights into wear and energy leaks.
“Automated analysis and processing of enormous amounts of high-resolution imagery enables machine learning to find great numbers of small cracks in extremely large structures,” says Ludvig Emgård, CEO of Spotscale. “However, this requires that this huge amount of information can be structured in a 3D model to provide an overview of the flaws and their sizes across the entire structure, which has been impossible – until now.”
AI training material and performance validation
Kiwa’s role is to produce quality assured training material for the software’s AI, encompassing relevant types of damage. We have that data thanks to our extensive experience and knowledge in testing and inspecting concrete structures. At the same time, we’ll validate inspection performance to ensure it meets the established requirements for inspection and testing - something we have solid experience in, for example from the nuclear power industry.
“We envision great opportunities from our partnership with Spotscale”, says Erik Landgren, Country Manager of Kiwa Sweden. “Their unique software and AI combined with our unique concrete structure expertise and knowledge will provide real benefits to our customers and society in general. The results of our joint work have the potential to change the very nature of how inspections and lifetime analysis of concrete infrastructure and buildings are conducted. This partnership puts us in a global forefront.”
Watch the video below for a short presentation of concrete crack inspection (click on the image to watch the video on Vimeo).
For more information please contact Milan Poznić, Head of Technology and Business Development at Kiwa Sweden using the form on the website.