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Monday, July 22, 2024

ARRES PREVENT: Autonomous Road Repair System with AI to Revolutionize Pothole Management

An innovative autonomous robot, known as ARRES (Autonomous Road Repair System) PREVENT, is poised to embark on a groundbreaking phase as it steps beyond the confines of a controlled environment to be tested on actual roads for the very first time. Developed through a collaboration between tech company Robotiz3d, academics from the University of Liverpool, and Hertfordshire County Council, ARRES is equipped with cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. This unique machine can adeptly identify and characterize potholes and cracks, using its advanced AI algorithms.

Pothole robot 2
The tech has been in development since 2020. Pic: Zenzic CAM UK

ARRES PREVENT goes beyond mere identification; it possesses the capability to automatically fill these potholes, thereby preventing the infiltration of surface water. This is a crucial feature, as water seepage can exacerbate road damage over time. If successful, ARRES has the potential to revolutionize the approach to pothole management, saving both time and financial resources. Additionally, it promises to minimize the disruptions experienced by motorists due to road maintenance activities.

The robot is on the verge of making its debut on the actual roads of Hertfordshire, where it will undertake a “real-life” road repair on a residential street. Despite being in its pilot phase, ARRES has undergone extensive testing in controlled laboratory conditions. Developed since 2020, it stands as the world’s first of its kind, marking a significant leap in the application of robotics and AI in infrastructure maintenance.

Pothole robot 3
It can automatically fill the cracks. Pic: Zenzic CAM UK

Phil Bibby, responsible for Highways at Hertfordshire County Council, expresses enthusiasm about the potential impact of this technology on the region’s road network. Acknowledging the concerns of residents regarding potholes, Bibby underscores the importance of addressing this issue promptly.

Understanding the genesis of potholes sheds light on the importance of proactive measures. Potholes typically evolve through various stages, commencing with the aging and cracking of the road surface due to factors such as poor drainage, utility works, and general wear and tear. In winter, water entering these cracks can freeze, exacerbating the damage. The constant pounding of the roads by traffic leads to the expulsion of small asphalt blocks. The final blow comes with water ponding during rain, causing further expansion and deepening of the pothole.

Pothole robot 4
Pic: Zenzic CAM UK

The prevalence of potholes in the UK is attributed to a combination of high traffic levels and the challenging climate, characterized by cold and wet conditions during the winter months. In this context, ARRES emerges as a pioneering solution that holds the promise of addressing and rectifying these road imperfections with unprecedented efficiency.

Source: news.sky.com

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