Drones to Clear the Roads of Potholes (Hopefully)


Flat tyres, damaged wheels and cracked suspension; A large number of us have fallen victim to these by driving over such concrete menaces like potholes. Constant trips to the garage for new tyres and items cost us a lot of money, so it’s about time something gets done about it.

Leeds University have been granted a whooping £4.2million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to develop a selection of robots and drones to pick out problem stretches of road and fix them, without the intervention of humans. The university is planning on designing 3 different robots, the first being a flying drone which can sit on high structures such as street lights and signs and perform repair tasks. The second robot will be an autonomous unit, designed to inspect, diagnose, repair and prevent potholes. Finally the third robot would perform maintenance and repair work within utility pipes.

The grant comes a year after the government announced plans to limit motorway roadworks to a maximum length of 2 miles, therefore aiding the easy flow of traffic and closing the endless 50mph stretches of busy dual lane roads. £6billion has already been granted to local councils to improve roads in their areas.

If the robots are successful, Leeds would be first to trial the innovations as Professor Phil Purnell, from the Leeds University School of Civil Engineering said: “We want to make Leeds the first city in the world to have zero disruption from street works.

We would hope you side with us in wishing all at Leeds University the best of luck and we all look forward to finally ridding our roads of potholes.


Image – http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/mar/12/potholes-britain-roads-repairs – 05/11/15