The university said the robot uses artificial intelligence to detect and repair potholes while moving itself along the country’s highways.
Engineers from the University of Liverpool have set up a company to develop a self-propelled robot to fight the potholes in Britain.
The autonomous robots are self-propelled and carry out repairs “on-the-fly”.
The University of Liverpool said there is currently no autonomous technology to tackle the pothole crisis that is plaguing many parts of the country and whose repair is estimated to have cost more than £1 billion over the last decade.
The company, called Robotiz3d, will use the research from the university’s robotics engineering laboratory to create a robot that will detect potholes and road cracks and carry out repairs “on-the-fly” – which could change road maintenance and save millions of people.
The company’s founders include Dr. Paolo Paoletti and Dr. Sebastiano Fichera from the University’s Faculty of Engineering, who have a strong track record in research, development and testing of the technology.
The company’s website warns that the pothole situation in the UK will continue to deteriorate due to aging roads, increasing numbers of road users and increased vulnerability to new extreme climate scenarios.
After four years of research and two patent-pending technologies, the joint university and the company, supported by A2E Industries, claim to be developing a “game-changing” technology whereby autonomous robots patrol British roads, detecting and repairing cracks by applying sealing material before they turn into potholes.
Dr Paolo Paoletti, Chief Technology Officer of the company, said: “Robotiz3d Ltd will develop an artificial intelligence (AI) controlled robotic system to solve the national and international potholes problem.
“The proposed system will be able to independently detect and characterize road defects such as cracks and potholes, assess and predict the severity of such defects and repair cracks so that they do not develop into potholes.
Dr. Sebastiano Fichera, the Company’s Technical Director, said: “Current methods for detecting and repairing potholes are labor-intensive and as such slow, uncertain and costly to the economy and the environment.
“The new technology we are developing will make road maintenance tasks faster, cheaper and cleaner and ultimately make roads safer and more accessible”.