Robots for resilient infrastructure
‘Robots for resilient infrastructure to reduce disruption, improve worker safety, save money and resources, for a cleaner environment, to make life better.’
A two day challenge event demonstrating cutting-edge robots and autonomous systems to create, inspect, repair and maintain our critical infrastructure.
Alongside showcasing technical advances, the event will create a space to discuss the benefits and impacts of adopting such technology, and what we need to do to prepare for the future.
The event will bring those with responsibility for infrastructure, contractors, policy makers and city builders together with researchers and innovators in this area, to create a broad vision of the challenges and opportunities for infrastructure robotics. Applications for such robots cover broad domains including civil infrastructure, transport (road, rail, sea), offshore energy, space, and nuclear.
Cash prizes totalling £5,500 are offered, kindly supported by sponsorship from Anglian Water and Synthotech. The challenge is supported by the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) through the Grand Challenge of “Balancing the Impact of City Infrastructure Engineering on Natural Systems using Robots” (Self-Repairing Cities).
The event aims to bring together robotic systems with the potential to address the challenges facing future infrastructure. These may fall under, but are not limited to, the following technological challenges:
- Perceive and patch: Vehicles for autonomous inspection, diagnostics, repair and prevention of defects (e.g. potholes).
- Perch and repair: Remote inspection and maintenance of structures at height (e.g. bridge inspection).
- Plunge and protect: Autonomous robots with the ability to perform underwater or underground infrastructure inspection repair, and preventive defect maintenance.
- Fire and forget: Robots designed to operate indefinitely performing inspection, repair, metering and reporting tasks (e.g. robotics operating in live water mains).
- Construct and confirm: Coordination of robot teams to build/print, finish and certify infrastructure from CAD models, using environmentally friendly building materials.
- Dismantle and dispose: Advanced manipulation in extreme environments to manipulate, cut, separate and unfasten structures (e.g. infrastructure de-commissioning such as nuclear or wind).
- Data and decisions: Create, process and interpret data securely for effective, verifiable and trustworthy operation of robots (e.g. robots to remotely augment building information models).
We will also seek to understand how these technologies will integrate into our lives through the challenge:
- City and society: Building the case for the use of infrastructure robotics, with particular reference to the environment, society, policy and regulation, and future infrastructure needs.
- Best technical innovation. £1,500 first prize, £600 runner-up
- Greatest potential for impact. £1,500 first prize, £600 runner-up
- Best video. £500 first prize, £300 runner-up
- Best poster. £125 first prize, £75 runner-up
- Best showcase stand. £200 first prize, £100 runner-up
Enter the challenge
We are seeking entries from robotic researchers and innovators who wish to showcase their robotic technologies at the event. It is expected that entries will be physically demonstrated at the event, however, where this not appropriate or possible then entries are permitted as short 3 minute videos.
Demonstrations will be judged by a panel of leading academics and industrialists. Cash prizes will be awarded for best technical innovation, greatest potential for impact, and best video.
The competition is free to enter and we encourage entries from around the world.