First tunnel built entirely by robots

Grant Prior 2 years ago
Share

A British technology company has revealed the world’s first entirely robot-constructed tunnel at its research facility in the North Hampshire Downs.

HyperTunnel’s new automated construction method is designed to build tunnels more than 10 times faster and at half the cost of conventional techniques

Using swarm construction methods according to a digital twin of the tunnel, a fleet of ‘hyperBot’ robots entered the ground via an arch of plastic pipes.

Once inside, the robots 3D-print the tunnel shell by deploying construction material directly into the ground.

The six metre-long, two metre-high and two metre-wide Peak XV ‘pedestrian-scale’ tunnel has been delivered as part of a project for Network Rail

David Castlo, Network Technical Head (Mining and Tunnels) at Network Rail, said: “Our large portfolio of Victorian tunnels requires increasing levels of work to meet the needs of the railway network.

“However, we want to reduce the level of disruption to our passengers so we are constantly searching for new approaches to enlarging or repairing tunnels that reduce the length of time a tunnel will be closed to trains. Peak XV moves us a step closer to that goal and, crucially, with a method that reduces workforce safety risk.”

Steve Jordan, co-CEO and co-Founder of hyperTunnel, said: “To unveil our first large scale demonstration tunnel is a big step, not only for hyperTunnel, but for the tunnelling and construction industries which are eagerly anticipating the readiness of our approach to use, as appropriate, in their global projects.

“While using robots exclusively to build underground structures is dramatically different, the contributing technologies, such as digital twins, robotics, 3D printing and digital underground surveying, supported by AI and VR, are all well-proven in other industries. In fact, the hyperTunnel in-situ method is all about de-risking construction projects.”

 

Latest news

Historic facade contractor goes into administration

Administrator seeking buyer for Charles Henshaw & Sons
2 days ago

Tilbury Douglas site manager saves schoolboy’s life

Site manager carries collapsed schoolboy to resuscitation unit he helped build
2 days ago

Plans lodged for 3,300-home Salford tower cluster

£1bn Regent Park scheme includes UK's third tallest building at 70 storeys
3 days ago

Domis founder Lee McCarren steps down

Fellow director Kingsley Thornton takes helm as co-founder retires
3 days ago

Spencer lands civils package on £300m energy plant

Subcontract worth £23m on pioneering Manchester green energy storage scheme
2 days ago

Van Elle and M&J Evans team-up for housing works

Piling and groundworks specialist start new collaboration deal
2 days ago

Muse JV closes Wolverhampton City Centre West quarter deal

English Cities Fund completes council partner deal for 1,000-home plan
2 days ago

Ofwat approves £88bn AMP8 water spending spree

Spending on infrastructure ringfenced, unspent funds returned to customers
3 days ago

‘Bellingham Bridge’ takes shape on HS2 in Birmingham

Watch work on four huge piers for bridge named after England superstar
3 days ago

Construction swings from weakest to strongest sector

Construction output rebounds by 1.9% in May after three months of decline
3 days ago

Costain appoints new commercial director

Paul Morris takes over from David Taylor
3 days ago

Galliford Try upbeat as profits set to beat expectations

Contractor reports profits and revenue up in year-end trading statement
3 days ago

Council agrees extra £16m to complete Botley bypass

Milestone Infrastructure will start work next Spring on £47m scheme
3 days ago

Care home specialist Kori Construction hits 10.5% margin

Corby contractor targets multi-room and retirement living after strong year of growth
3 days ago

Hill Group names new special projects chief

Cain Peters to head growing £300m multi-storey complex project arm
3 days ago

Listing bid by one person could scupper 37-storey student tower

Construction faces delay after lone call to list the Hotspur Press in Manchester
4 days ago

A57 Mottram Bypass start date now set for early 2025

National Highways confirms compound work on A57 Link Road scheme can now start
3 days ago

Crest Nicholson set to accept revised Bellway bid

Rival comes-in with a third offer
4 days ago

Concrete frame problems cost Barratt again

Major remediation works needed on two schemes in London
4 days ago

Ex-Taylor Wimpey chief to head Travis Perkins

Pete Redfern takes up CEO role at builders' merchant in September
4 days ago

Tendering opens for £3.7bn Eastern Green Link 3 work packages

Bid race starts for UK’s largest proposed HVDC transmission project
4 days ago

HG Construction wins 37-storey Manchester student tower

Work to get underway at One Medlock Street
5 days ago

GF Tomlinson trio decamp to rival Miller Knight

£24m turnover Mansfield contractor launches growth push
4 days ago

Balfour awarded £185m A9 dualling contract

Winner revealed for retendered job
4 days ago

Rayner rescues plans for two giant data centres

Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to look again at rejected schemes
5 days ago

Skanska UK construction restates 2022 profit down £30m

Errors in project completion cost estimates force contractor to slash reported profit
5 days ago

Supply chain woes send Willmott Dixon to a loss

Contractor hails strong start to 2024 after making a £5.2m pre-tax loss last year
6 days ago

Vistry on track for 10% profit rise after subcontractor cost cuts

House builder expects half year operating profits to hit £227m
5 days ago

Work to start on £100m Staffordshire Uni student village

700-bed student village will be built at Stoke-on-Trent campus
5 days ago

Driver crushed by concrete blocks on housing site

Avant Homes fined £300,000 after site delivery death
5 days ago

Contractor services