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Wed November 25 2020

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Uni spin-out hopes to commercialise road repair robot

27 Oct The University of Liverpool has spun out a new company – Robotiz3d Ltd – to develop road repair robots.

Artist’s impression of Robotiz3d’s putative prototype ARRES (Autonomous Road Repair System)
Artist’s impression of Robotiz3d’s putative prototype ARRES (Autonomous Road Repair System)

Robotiz3d Ltd hopes to commercialise patented research from the university’s engineering robotics laboratory. The technology uses artificial intelligence and robotics to detect and repair road defects, including pot holes and cracks.

The company is a joint venture between the University of Liverpool and A2e Ltd, an electronics company, backed by the university’s enterprise investment fund, alongside private equity investment from A2e Ltd.

Among the founders are Paolo Paoletti and Sebastiano Fichera from the university’s school of engineering, who have been developing and trialling the technology for four years.

Dr Paoletti, who will serve as chief technology officer for the company, said: “Robotiz3d Ltd will develop an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven robotic system to address the national and international potholes problems. The proposed system will be able to autonomously detect and characterize road defects such as cracks and potholes, assess and predict the severity of such defects and fix cracks so that they do not evolve into potholes.”

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Technical director Dr Fichera added: “Current methods to detect and repair of potholes are labour intensive and as such are slow, unsafe, and costly to the economy and environment.  The new technology we are developing will make road maintenance tasks faster, cheaper, and cleaner and ultimately make roads safer and more accessible.”

Also involved is tech entrepreneur Lisa Layzell, one of the co-founders of Sci-Tech Daresbury in Halton, Cheshire, where Robotiz3d is now based.

She said: “This is an exciting new spin out to take forward. The team at Robotiz3d has the expertise and experience in robotics and AI to deliver the project and introduce world-leading innovation to the management of roads and highways. We have developed a robust business plan to take forward the portfolio of Robotiz3d envisaged products.”

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