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Maintaining integrity, performance and safety of the road infrastructure through autonomous robotized solutions and modularization  

 

What is InfraROB

InfraROB is a European Union’s Horizon 2020 funded project (09/2021 – 02/2025) which aims to reduce workers’ exposure to live traffic and construction machines, increase the availability of the transport network, reduce the cost of repetitive tasks, and increase the safety of road users by promoting significant advances in automating, robotising and modularizing the construction, upgrade and maintenance of the road infrastructure.

Road infrastructure has a fundamental role in the social as well as economic development of individual European countries and of Europe as a whole, considering that road transport is the most widely used mode of inland passenger transport in most European countries today, strongly contributing to ensure the flow of people but also of goods across the EU. Thus, proper road infrastructure management is essential for both economic growth and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Besides this intangible component of infrastructure value, moreover, the main value of road infrastructure lies in network capacity, which needs to be ensured through assets’ maintenance, and, upon necessity, expanded through new construction and upgrading. Road infrastructure maintenance is therefore of great importance and, alongside maintenance works, special emphasis must be put on work zone safety. Even though much has been done by the EC to improve safety of road users, the need to improve safety of both construction workers and road users in relation to work zone areas remains a priority, as on a country-based average, 4% of accidents take place in work zones. Workers engaged in roadworks are exposed to significant risk, whereas, many repetitive construction or maintenance tasks could be replaced by robotized systems. Yet, even if robotics has reached significant technological maturity and thus implementation levels in many industrial sectors, it has not reached the same implementation levels in road infrastructure management. A coordinated effort at the European level is therefore needed to boost the introduction of automation, robotics and greater modularization in this field.

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Project Partners 

Project Coordinator: University of Vigo (GEOTECH: Applied Geotechnologies Research Group – a member of CINTECX)

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