Smart timber monitor could save millionsResearchers at the University of Melbourne are reporting the success of a remote monitoring device that can accurately measure decay and insect infestations in construction timber over vast distances – and could save Australia’s building and electrical distribution industries, millions of dollars.
The wireless device, which will eventually fit into the palm of a hand, can be attached to timber beams, joists or power poles, where it monitors at predetermined intervals their structural integrity, moisture content, and – through an ingenious ‘listening device’ – the movement of termites and other wood-boring insects.
The device is the brainchild of Dr Berhan Ahmed, a senior research fellow at the University’s Department of Forest and Ecosystem Science and a 2009 Victorian of the Year, who has been developing the technology over the past four years with distinguished radar technology expert, Associate Professor Peter Farrell and senior engineering lecturer, Dr Graham Brodie.
The researchers believe their system, which delivers its findings in real-time through a dedicated online program, will provide significant savings in building inspections, transport and labour costs – and, ultimately, in the amount of timber consumed by the construction and electrical industries. More >>
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