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Highway repair often exposes workers to dangerous conditions in the form of bad weather and speeding vehicles. Major repairs can take a long time to complete. To tackle these problems, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) has partnered with the Georgia Tech Research Institute to develop robotic technology that automatically detects and then seals cracks in the road. When prototype testing is completed the resulting 'Roadbot' will be fully automated and require only a single operator reports Government Computer News.
The technology could also save highway departments across the country money due to the pro-active approach of sealing smaller cracks before they become larger scale repaving projects. The prototype can be mounted on a trailer and then using LED lights, cameras and an advanced set of algoriths to locate cracks. Once located the human operator uses the images collected to direct the robot to apply sealant via an onboard nozzle system. Before full scale deployment additional testing will be completed to improve detection accuracy which is currently 83 percent.