Robot that can fix potholes unveiled in Liverpool

A new robot which can detect and fix potholes has been unveiled by the University of Liverpool.

Researchers have formed a new spin out company – Robotiz3d Ltd – to take forward the new technology which they say has the “potential to radically transform road maintenance”.

Robotiz3d Ltd is a joint venture spin out company established in partnership with A2e Ltd and will receive investment from the University’s Enterprise Investment Fund, alongside private equity investment from a2e Ltd.

The company will commercialise patented research from the University’s Engineering Robotics Lab. The technology uses Artificial Intelligence and robotics to significantly improve the way road defects, including potholes and road cracks, are detected and repaired.

Dr Paolo Paoletti, who will serve as Chief Technology Officer for the company, said: “Robotiz3d Ltd will develop an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven robotic system to address the national and international potholes problems. The proposed system will be able to autonomously detect and characterize road defects such as cracks and potholes, assess and predict the severity of such defects and fix cracks so that they do not evolve into potholes.”

Dr Sebastiano Fichera, Technical Director of the company, added: “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.”

Professor Anthony Hollander, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research & Impact at the University of Liverpool, said: “The University of Liverpool is committed to working with industry to put high-quality research results on a commercialisation path. By partnering with a2e, and putting solid investment behind Robotiz3d, we are aiming to make a real difference to the economy, society, and the environment”.

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