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HomeEquipmentEquipment NewsWorld’s first’ autonomous pothole repair Robot unveiled

World’s first’ autonomous pothole repair Robot unveiled

The robot uses Artificial Intelligence to detect and repair road defects, including potholes and cracks,

An autonomous road repair robot that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to detect and repair damaged and potholed road surfaces has been unveiled in the UK.  It is called ARRES (Autonomous Road Repair System) and can identify and analyse potholes and cracks by using algorithms created with the help of AI. The robot can automatically fill the potholes to keep out the surface water, which can seep through causing damage to the road.

The robot has been developed by tech company Robotiz3d, in collaboration with academics at the University of Liverpool and Hertfordshire County Council Highways Engineers. Funding for the project has been predominantly provided by Innovate UK, with additional support from various investors throughout different stages of the technology’s development.

Dr Paolo Paoletti, who will serve as chief technology officer for the company, said: “Robotiz3d will develop an AI-driven robotic system to address the national and international pothole problems”. “Current methods to detect and repair of potholes are labour intensive and as such are slow, unsafe, and costly to the economy and environment. The new technology we are developing will make road maintenance tasks faster, cheaper, and cleaner and ultimately make roads safer and more accessible,” he further added. 

The robot harnesses a combination of AI and advanced imaging technology to identify cracks and potholes on road surfaces. Once detected, it autonomously fills the cracks to prevent surface water ingress and subsequently the formation of potholes.

“The intention is to use the AI Robot alongside our human crews rather than to replace them. It will autonomously find and seal cracks in the road while our team gets on with other work, helping us get more work done in a single set of works to prevent future potholes while reducing disruption to the public,” a Hertfordshire County Council spokesperson said about the project. 

The AI-based algorithm will help the machine determine if a problem in the road surface is a pothole or not. If the robot identifies a road imperfection as a pothole, it will inject filling material into the crack to keep out water and prevent damage to the road.

Real-world Testing in Hertfordshire

Following successful proof-of-concept testing in a controlled lab environment, ARRES is poised for real-world testing on the roads of Hertfordshire in southern England. Hertfordshire County Council’s Phil Bibby expressed excitement about working with pioneering tech inventors, emphasizing their commitment to finding innovative solutions for pothole repair. The pilot phase saw ARRES undergoing tests within a controlled lab environment, with the next phase involving live repairs on a residential street.

Keep watching this space for more updates.

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