Roadworks robot trialled on Surrey gas job

Grant Prior 2 months ago
Share

A robotic roadworks system which can carry out the entire end-to-end excavation process is being trialled in Surrey.

Gas company SGN has teamed up with New York-based robotics experts ULC Technologies to test the technology after three years of development and funding from energy regulator Ofgem.

The Robotic Roadworks and Excavation System (RRES) is an all-electric autonomous robot which can carry out the entire end-to-end excavation process.

Equipped with a concrete cutting chainsaw, RRES can cut any shape into a road surface.

It does this by sensing the hardness of the surface and adjusting the cutting speed and strength of the chainsaw.

SGN has been developing a keyhole strategy for excavations in recent years to allow it to to carry out operations from above ground using specialist tooling, significantly reducing the size of the excavation needed.

The piece of road which is cut out can then be put back into the road at the end of the operation, helping SGN to reduce waste sent to landfill.

The robot was unveiled to stakeholders from across the country last week ahead of its first trial in the UK on SGN’s gas network in Epsom.

SGN Head of Innovation John Richardson said: “Typically, accurate robotic systems are found inside protected and controlled environments.

“RRES takes this technology into the field, mounting a robotic arm on a track to make the system mobile. It will help reduce risks to our engineers while providing them with new skills and state-of-the-art equipment.

“Any industry which needs to scan below ground and carry out deep excavations will benefit from RRES, including other utility companies and the construction and development sector.

“At SGN, we can potentially reduce the time taken for a typical gas repair job from days to hours, which is great news for our customers, colleagues and the environment.”

ULC Technologies Director of Infrastructure Automation and AI, Ali Asmari said: “Using a robotic arm on a mobile platform in an excavation environment will allow RRES to improve efficiency and worker safety by automating parts of the operation.

“The precision and repeatability of the robotic arm will provide highly accurate data to locate below ground assets and will help to identify the most strategic location to cut a keyhole excavation.”

RRES also uses supersonic air nozzles to agitate the soil, which is then removed with vacuum suction. The tool head uses sensors to detect any asset close to it avoiding damage and keeping field teams safe.

Latest news

Thirty construction workers killed on site last year

Industry fatality numbers drop 25% on previous year
30 mins ago

Construction and housing ministers resign

Industry leaders join mass exodus from government
5 hours ago

Aecom hires Arcadis veteran to grow northwards

Jonathan Moore aims to expand Aecom's business in the Midlands and North
4 hours ago

M&E contractor Kershaw went down owing subbies £10m

More than 400 firms left holding unpaid invoices
15 hours ago

Green light for UK’s first plastic recycling park

£165m park in Cheshire will recycle 367,500 tonnes of plastic
15 hours ago

Go-ahead for two Tilbury Douglas hospital jobs

Wirrall and Stockport hospital A&E jobs together worth nearly £60m
14 hours ago

Eight contractors trailblaze concrete carbon reduction plan

Firms pledge to switch to 30% low emission concrete by 2025
1 day ago

Red Construction lands London Victoria office overhaul

St James's Park building will be extended up by two floors in overhaul
14 hours ago

Six locations shortlisted for Great British Railways HQ

Site for national HQ narrows to Birmingham, Crewe, Derby, Doncaster, Newcastle and York
1 day ago

Kit maker Genie fined after M25 work platform death fall

Court hears how calibration error led to death of worker when 40 metre high mobile elevating work platform collapsed
2 days ago

O’Connor Utilities sold to private equity

OCU Group reported to have fetched around £400m
3 days ago

Rolls-Royce shortlists sites for first SMR factory

Three factories will make reactor, civils and MEP modules for SMR nuclear power stations
2 days ago

£233m loan kick starts £3.5bn regen of Royal Docks site

Infrastructure loan paves way for 6,000-home East London Silvertown scheme
2 days ago

Henry Construction wins £33m Oxford housing estate rebuild

Contractor signs off first deal with A2Dominion
2 days ago

Carillion collapse hospital hit by more construction delays

Balfour will take another 18 months to complete Midland Met scheme
2 days ago

Leeds college launches new construction and football course

Students can now combine site and tech skills with learning at a football academy
2 days ago

Willmott Dixon blasts new Building Safety law

Rick Willmott accuses Government of scapegoating construction over its own regulatory failure
3 days ago

£550m plan to redevelop The Galleries centre in Bristol

Shopping centre building to be demolished for major mixed-use scheme
3 days ago

Costain cancels supply chain event on £260m road job

Preparation work for A1 upgrade stalls as Transport Secretary dithers over approval
3 days ago

£170m London Holborn Circus office approved

Demolition work set to start in the autumn for 10-storey office block
3 days ago

City leaders launch net zero construction skills drive

City of London leader warns "skills gap and labour shortage are threats to our net zero ambitions"
3 days ago

Marlborough Highways lands £32m Islington civils deal

Contractor to help with north London borough's green drive
3 days ago

Osborne makes £45m construction loss

Sale of infrastructure business balances books as contractor looks for zero-carbon wins
6 days ago

John F Hunt forecasts record revenue and profits this year

Demolition contractor back on strong financial footing after previously setting aside £5.6m for bid rigging probe
6 days ago

Notting Hill Genesis names £2.8bn framework winners

26 firms land places on main contractor deal: Full list
6 days ago

Green light for dual hotel scheme at Nine Elms

Two new hotel towers will share common basement
6 days ago

Trials start on cement-free pre-cast piles

Aarsleff is hopeful a product will come to the market shortly
6 days ago

Ex-Telford Homes boss to run green house builder

Jon Di-Stefano takes helm at M&G backed Greencore Construction
6 days ago

Subcontractors told to stop work on Brymor sites

£80m revenue southern contractor files letter of intent to enter administration
7 days ago

House builder Chartway sold to private equity firm

Cabot Square Capital signs another major construction deal
6 days ago

Contractor services