University backs creation of pothole-busting robot
Spin-out Robotiz3d received investment to develop technology
The University of Liverpool is supporting efforts to build an autonomous robot to find and fix potholes.
Robotiz3d is a company that has been spun out from the university, and is a joint venture between the institution and investment firm a2e Industries. The firm, which has been undertaking research for the last four years and has two technological patents pending, has received a cash boost from its two backers that it hopes will enable it to develop the technology (illustrated above) to the point that it can be used on UK roads.
The machine is designed to autonomously patrol and identify potholes. It will also be able to fix smaller cracks by injecting sealant, while taking measurements of larger holes.
Dr Paulo Pauletti, chief technology officer of Robotiz3d, said: “These features, coupled with a prediction algorithm to help prioritise work schedules, are anticipated to improve the safety and lifespan of road networks, make maintenance tasks Covid-resilient, and contribute to reductions in road repair costs, fuel consumption, greenhouse gas emission, and tyre wear.”
Alongside the recent funding boost, the firm has also agreed a partnership with Hertfordshire County Council in which it will collaborate on product-development activities.
Phil Bibby, the council’s executive member for highways and environment, said: “We are delighted to offer our expertise and help embed real life practical requirements into the development. It’s exciting to be part of the progress and we are keen to trial the prototype.”
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Government-backed project will also incorporate input from BSI and NPL