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Thu August 9, 2007
Gadget Lets Bridges Send Emails
By Catherine M. Welch
Wilmington, NC – In the wake of the Minnesota bridge collapse crews across the state have been inspecting some of North Carolina's most vulnerable bridges.
Now a Wilmington inventor says the North Carolina Department of Transportation is looking into his invention that can tell engineers when a bridge is potentially in danger.
Right now bridge sensors rely on batteries that often need to be replaced. But Wilmington inventor Chris Goggin has created a wireless receiver that controls sensors without the need for batteries.
The sensors can be mixed into materials during construction of a new bridge or tacked onto an existing bridge.
If the bridge starts to move or shake in an unusual way it emails transportation officials with data collected by these sensors.
And it would tell you that the bridge has seen a shock pulse that wasn't normal, and would locate where the movement was in the bridge. And you can send a crew out there right away and check it out.
Goggin's invention was named in the History Channel's Modern Marvels list of top 25 new inventions.
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