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"Smart" attachment for utility damage prevention.

Lorenc SJ; Bernold LE
Robotics '98, 1998 Apr; :140-146
Reports about serious injuries and costly damages caused by excavators hitting underground utilities make frequent headlines in the news media. The accidents sometimes result in the death of one or more persons. Thus, excavation represents a dangerous operation that has to be executed with care. The Construction Automation and Robotics Laboratory (CARL) at North Carolina State University (NCSU) has been searching for an answer to the problem. A prototype system has been developed in CARL using nontraditional tactics. It is called a Buried Utility Detection System (BUDS). BUDS differs from the traditional passive metal detection systems which require the existing utility lines to serve as transmitters. BUDS generates and transmits its own magnetic impact and detects the coupling effect with any buried utility line in its detection range. Most importantly, it is installed directly on the excavating machinery and integrated with its operation. Experiments have been carried out with BUDS both in the laboratory and in the field. These experimental results are promising. The work deliberated in this paper presents an ongoing effort for developing an effective and reliable system that can be attached to any type of construction and utility digging equipment for real time underground utility line detection.
Excavation-equipment; Automation; Construction-equipment; Construction; Safety; Construction-industry
Department of Civil Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-7908
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Demsetz LA
Funding Amount
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Priority Area
Research Tools and Approaches: Control Technology and Personal Protective Equipment
Source Name
Robotics '98: Proceedings of the 3rd ASCE Specialty Conference on Robotics for Challenging Environments, Albuquerque, New Mexico, April 26-30, 1998.
Performing Organization
North Carolina State University, College of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering
Page last reviewed: January 7, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division