If you drive on most major roads in the United States you’ll notice many construction projects going on. Often these projects go way over time and way over budget causing a strain on local resources and substandard road conditions. One company is looking towards robotics to help get roadwork done a bit quicker and more efficiently.
Meet the TyBot. It’s an autonomous rebar-tying robot that is helping road crews save time and money. A rebar is a steel bar or mesh of steel wires that help reinforce the roads by adding strength and holding the concrete in compression. Tying rebars is often a time consuming and physically demanding task.
TyBot Works Autonomously
TyBot can handle the whole process pretty much on its own, only requiring one quality control technician who monitors performance and reloads the tie wire spool when necessary.
The robot autonomously navigates the work area locating, positioning and tying the rebar intersections. There is no programming or pre-mapping needed. Unlike human workers, it can work day and night in all types of weather.
If needed, TyBot’s controls can be overridden and be guided remotely. It also won’t get in the way of other construction workers or equipment. Setup only takes a few hours and the robot can be transported in a normal flatbed.
Rebar-Tying Robot is 8 Times Faster Than Human Worker
The robot can tie about 800 ties an hour versus a human ironworker that can only do between 60 and 100. The company says that using artificial intelligence would allow human workers to be freed up for other less physically demanding and dangerous tasks. It could help cut down on worker injuries.
The TyBot is currently working in central Florida helping to repair County Road 46A in Lake County. Local officials hope the robot will help meet deadlines and save money over time.
“It will help us push schedule because we will know that this machine is constantly in use, there won’t be a downtime. Instead of having five guys having to lay down the rebar and then coming back in to tie it, the TyBot will be right behind tying it, so they can consecutively lay it all out and then jump behind it and lay the next section,” said Kristofer Munoz of Superior Construction.