New AI Robot Repairs Road Cracks and Potholes

Anastasia R / Unsplash

An autonomous robot, which uses Artificial Intelligence to spot and repair damaged roads, is about to start work in the U.K.

The world-first machine could make mending the broken road network much faster, more efficient, and cheaper than sending out traditional repair crews. The robot’s main trick is to identify and fix cracks before they become a bigger problem. Once water gets into the asphalt, it freezes, expands, contracts and the damage grows until you have a wheel-destroying hole in the road.

Arres Prevent robot 2
Zenic Cam UK

What’s more, the world’s pothole problem is getting worse, claims robotics company Robotiz3d. “Road maintenance and repair processes need a major upgrade,” says the firm. “Skills shortages, rising costs and longer repair timescales aren’t sustainable. As electric vehicles rise in popularity, the weight our roads need to withstand to facilitate cleaner, greener travel is increasing too. The world’s pothole problem is worsening, causing negative environmental impacts and placing huge financial strain on road asset owners and road users.”

The solution is Robotiz3d’s Autonomous Road Repair System (ARRES) Prevent bot which it developed in conjunction with the University of Liverpool, with government funding through Innovate U.K. The electric-powered ARRES Prevent can patrol roads without a driver on board and uses optical sensors and AI to identify damage which it can repair on the spot.

The system has been lab tested and is set to hit the road in Hertfordshire this year. If it works then this is one robot invasion that would be very welcome.




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    True. It’s neat technology, and may even result in better consistency for repairs. But it’ll still require humans to manage the machine itself on site, but more importantly to conduct the rolling lane closures which includes cones/barrels, advance warning signs, crash trucks, etc. They can’t just turn this thing loose on the highways and interstates and have it just sitting there sealing cracks by itself.

    This generally isn’t the forum where I express this particular concern, but in a world with 8.something billion people (and increasing rapidly), why do we invest so many resources into finding ways for people not to do things?

    Very good point. Have you seen the movie Wall-E? Maybe the goal is for us all to be on individual mobility hovercraft scooters eating all of our food as a slurpees.

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