This project aims to tackle the Grand Challenge of Zero disruption from streetworks in UK cities by 2050 by developing robots that will identify, diagnose and repair street-works through minimally invasive techniques, starting with three case studies:
- “Perch and Repair” – drones that can perform repairs tasks, such as remote maintenance and modernisation of street lights.
- “Perceive and Patch” – swarms of flying vehicles for autonomous inspection, diagnostics, repair and prevention of highway defects (e.g. potholes).
- “Fire and Forget” – hybrid robots designed to operate indefinitely within live utility pipes performing inspection, repair, metering and reporting tasks.
It is anticipated that this project will lead to a wide range of benefits, including:
- Improving health, wellbeing, happiness and economic prosperity of people living within cities by reducing the impact of infrastructure engineering on natural systems.
- Stimulating UK research in the area of future cities through exploring the concept of sensing and automated repairs.
- Developing technologies for autonomous defect detection and diagnosis compatible with new and existing infrastructure.
With the aid of Leeds City Council we want to make Leeds the first city in the World that is fully maintained autonomously by 2035.