AI-Powered Robots Tackle Potholes

( – A county in the East of England in January launched a pilot program to be the first to test out a new autonomous robot designed to find and repair potholes using artificial intelligence, Sky News reported.

The robot was developed by the UK-based tech company Robotiz3d and researchers from the University of Liverpool who partnered with Hertfordshire County Council Highways Engineers to supply the county with its ARRES PREVENT robot.

ARRES (Autonomous Road Repair System) can identify cracks and forming potholes in pavement through the use of artificial intelligence. Once it identifies a problem, ARRES PREVENT can automatically repair it, preventing a further build-up of water which can cause the crack to expand.

Hertfordshire County hopes that if the pilot program is successful, ARRES could save time and money in repairing potholes before they worsen while reducing the disruption for motorists due to extensive road repairs.

The first robot of its kind, ARRES has been in development since 2020 and has undergone extensive testing in the lab to prepare it for its real-life testing on residential roads in rural Hertfordshire County.

Phil Bibby from Hertfordshire County Council Highways said the new technology could be what is needed to ensure that Hertfordshire remains “one of the best in the country.”

Potholes develop in multiple stages, starting as cracks in the surface caused by poor drainage, age, and wear and tear. Water gets into the cracks, freezing in cold weather and thawing in warm weather. Over time, the continual pounding of traffic causes the cracks to expand, allowing more water to penetrate the surface.

Robotiz3d has created three models of its autonomous road repair system to tackle potholes both before they get too big and after the damage is severe.

ARRES Eye can be installed on a variety of vehicles, including standard maintenance vehicles, buses, or trucks. As the vehicles drive down urban streets, ARRES Eye is meticulously scanning the surface for any sign of cracks or potholes, according to Fox News.

ARRES Ultra is designed to tackle larger road damage and can execute each step in repairing potholes from site preparation to the final compaction of the repaired surface.

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