City Research Online

The human-machine interface (HMI) and re-bar detection aspects of a non-destructive testing (NDT) robot

Chua Ying Kit, J. (1996). The human-machine interface (HMI) and re-bar detection aspects of a non-destructive testing (NDT) robot. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


The Construction Industry is for the greater part unfamiliar with the operation of automation and robotics devices. Furthermore, the extent to which the existing labour force can be re-trained, or be justifiably supported by specialist personnel, remains unclear. Arising from this, it is thence clear that the quality of the human interface or the so called Human-Machine Interface (HMI), will be a decisive factor in the successful introduction of new devices. In view of this, it is therefore, somewhat surprising that a review of current HMI’s for built construction tasking devices point to few instances of well founded provisions. In the majority of cases and characteristics of the HMI more closely relate to the basic functionality of the device, its motion control etc., then more relevant, human cognizance.

There are two main objectives to this research. The first objective is to research the factors which influence the effectiveness of the HMI provisions for operators of robots and to devise guidelines for their development, and apply these in a demonstrator application for a building inspection robot. There are many factors to consider in the provision of an effective HMI, including compatibility with the cognitive characteristics of operators, selection of useful analogies and metaphors, navigational system employed, encourage exploration, informative feedback, consistency, directness in interaction, place operators in control, terminology, and the use of colour, geometry and spatial layout. The wide spread use of colour is particularly interesting in that it has been known for more than a decade that abuse of colour can lead to operator distress and drastically reduced productivity in the involved activity.

The second objective is to automate a covermeter to such an extent as to be able to obtain mappings of embedded re-bars, their size estimates, and depth-of-covers. The research looks at current methods of estimating the latter two unknowns, and proposes a more effective method for automation. The method is based on analyzing the traverse profile from a covermeter scan across the involved re-bars.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering > Civil Engineering
School of Science & Technology > School of Science & Technology Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses
[thumbnail of Chua thesis 1996 PDF-A.pdf]
Text - Accepted Version
Download (26MB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login