UK University Gets $6.5 Million to Develop Pothole-Monitoring Drone
Even in our technologically innovative times, potholes are a major nuisance. They are monitored by human eyes, repaired by human hands, and can ruin your alignment in a split second. But what if we could make potholes almost obsolete?
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That’s exactly what the University of Leeds’ National Facility for Innovative Robotic Systems wants to do. According to Popular Science, the British university recently won a $6.5 million (£4.2 million) grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to develop three different drones. Each drone will have a specific job repairing a part of our cities’ infrastructures.
The first drone will repair structures like street lights and telephone poles, perching like a bird to catch problems within tall structures. Another will travel through sewer and utility pipes, fixing and maintaining them. Possibly the most important drone, though, is one that will not only patrol streets for potholes, but also work to repair and prevent them.
“Our robots will undertake precision repairs and avoid the need for large construction vehicles in the heart of our cities,” said Dr. Rob Richardson, director of the National Facility for Innovative Robotic Systems at Leeds. “We will use the unique capabilities of our robotic facility to make new, more capable robots.”
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Before the robots are unleashed on the world, the university has explicitly stated each will be thoroughly tested. Leeds will be the first city to use these robots for obvious reasons, as the university’s researchers attempt to make Leeds the first city in the world with zero disruption from road work.
- Caitlin MoranEditor
A born-and-raised Jersey girl, Caitlin Moran lives in Dayton, Ohio at the moment and loves getting down and nerdy with English. After recently graduating from the University of Dayton with her Masters in English Literature, Caitlin is now combining her love of writing and cars for The News Wheel. She is also continuing her love affair with traveling, broadening her knowledge of foreign automobiles. See more articles by Caitlin.