New Brunswick, N.J. (June 26, 2020) – Rutgers engineers have created a 3D model of last month’s devastating break in the Edenville Dam in Michigan, using the emerging technology of computer vision to analyze a smartphone video posted on social media.

The Edenville dam collapse and the failure of the Sanford Dam resulted in massive flooding and the evacuation of thousands of people.

Computer vision has been used in self-driving cars and augmented reality, and the technology offers a new way to analyze disasters when communities are unprepared to document them with video and other records and measurements. Such disasters include tsunamis, floods, building collapses, landslides and earthquakes. Insights from detailed analysis may lead to better designs and prevent disasters.

“The new technology stemming from self-driving cars and augmented reality may bring us a step closer to the sci-fi world and provide great insights into a recent catastrophic disaster,” according to Ruo-Qian (Roger) Wang, an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the School of Engineering at Rutgers University–New Brunswick.

Here’s a post and YouTube video on LinkedIn:

The YouTube video:


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Rutgers University–New Brunswick is where Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, began more than 250 years ago. Ranked among the world’s top 60 universities, Rutgers’s flagship is a leading public research institution and a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. It has an internationally acclaimed faculty, 12 degree-granting schools and the Big Ten Conference’s most diverse student body.