Drone Road Repairs

Supplementary content information

A team of EPSRC - funded researchers at the University of Leeds were featured on the Radio 4 programme ‘In Business’ last week during a piece about Potholes – the roads of the future.

As part of a £4million project, Professor Purnell and his team are investigating the use of drones to identify, prioritise and repair damaged roads in order to prevent potholes. A first drone is used to find and assess cracks in the road that need to be fixed. It sends a message to a second drone that is attached to a 3D asphalt printer.

The second drone is deployed and seals the damage avoiding the need for costly and disruptive roadworks when a pothole appears.

This preventative maintenance not only favours individual motorists through less disruption and damage, it would also reap economic benefits by keeping roads open and traffic flowing.

Other news coverage includes:

Yorkshire Post – How army of drones and robots could make Leeds the world’s first self-repairing city

Daily Mail – Drones will take to the skies to detect and repair small potholes by scanning road for cracks and filling them with 3d printed asphalt

The Independent – Potholes could be ‘self-repairing’ in the next 30 years say experts

Reference: PN 04-19