A robot that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to detect and repair road defects including potholes and road cracks is under development at the University of Liverpool.
The University has formed a new company – Robotiz3d – to take forward the development of the ARRES (autonomous road repair system) machine.
The company will receive investment from the University’s Enterprise Investment Fund, alongside private equity investment from A2E.
The company will commercialise patented research from the University’s Engineering Robotics Lab.
Currently, no autonomous technology solutions exist to tackle potholes, which are estimated to have cost more than £1bn to repair over the last decade.
Amongst the company founders are Dr Paolo Paoletti and Dr Sebastiano Fichera from the University’s School of Engineering who have been developing and trialling the technology over the past four years.
Dr Paolo Paoletti, who will serve as chief technology oOfficer 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.”
Lisa Layzell, a serial entrepreneur of high-tech companies, is a co-founder and CEO of Robotiz3d. She said: “This is an exciting new spin out to take forward. The team at Robotiz3d has the expertise and experience in robotics and AI to deliver the project and introduce world-leading innovation to the management of roads and highways. We have developed a robust business plan to take forward the portfolio of Robotiz3d envisaged products.”