Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s plan to release bond funds to support bridge repair across the state comes as welcome news to researchers at Missouri S&T, home to a federal initiative to develop new robotic tools to inspect and preserve bridges and other infrastructure.

Missouri S&T researchers are in the midst of a five-year effort to develop new technologies to inspect and maintain bridges and portions of highway. The U.S. Department of Transportation grant provides $1.4 million a year to fund a University Transportation Center at S&T known as INSPIRE, which stands for Inspecting and Preserving Infrastructure through Robotic Exploration.

The work underway through our INSPIRE program can benefit similar statewide initiatives to repair our aging infrastructure in the future,” says Dr. Genda Chen, the Robert W. Abbett Distinguished Chair in Civil Engineering at Missouri S&T and director of INSPIRE