Sydney Harbor Bridge gets blasted by robot

18 February 2014

share this:

SABRE Autonomous Solutions, a spin-off from the University of Technology Sydney, is using two Schunk lightweight arms and blaster pistols to grit-blast the Sydney Harbor Bridge.

The bridge, which spans 503 meters and has a hight of 134 meters, must be continuously maintained and corrosion protected. This includes sandblasting and repainting 485,000 sq meters of steel. The two robots, named Sandy and Rosie, tirelessly blast dirt, rust and old paint from the steel girders.

“Due to the fatigue while sandblasting, even experienced workers are unable to achieve such consistent results [as has been the result of the robots doing the blasting],” said Greg Peters, SABRE Engineering Design Manager. “And operating the system could not be simpler: the lightweight robots are manually positioned on a simple rail system. They they automatically scan the steel structure generating a 3D map. Then the work begins.”

Bridge sandblasting used to require teams of up to three workers hanging and otherwise moving in ergonomically unfriendly postures. With the SABRE bridge blasting robot, one operator controls and monitors up to two robots. Once a robot finishes a segment, the control worker takes the blaster gun and completes any remaining detail work. Replaced workers perform other maintenance tasks thereby speeding up the overall project. The use of the robots during a 2013 test cycle reduced the number of accidents and downtime due to sickness and injury/rehab time.

SABRE is working on a variation of the bridge grit-blaster robot – a mobile blasting robot – which will be available later this year in Australia. It’s plug and play; weighs less than 65 kg; has embedded control systems; can be fitted to scissor lift or other mobile devices; works together with multiple robots; and is narrow enough to fit through a standard doorway.

SABRE plans to begin marketing their bridge-blasting and mobile blasting systems later this year in Australia and early 2015 in the U.S. and EU.

tags: , ,

Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series.
Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series.

Related posts :

Women in Tech leadership resources from IMTS 2022

There’ve been quite a few events recently focusing on Women in Robotics, Women in Manufacturing, Women in 3D Printing, in Engineering, and in Tech Leadership. One of the largest tradeshows in the US is IMTS 2022. Here I bring you some resources shared in the curated technical content and leadership sessions.
29 September 2022, by and

MIT engineers build a battery-free, wireless underwater camera

The device could help scientists explore unknown regions of the ocean, track pollution, or monitor the effects of climate change.
27 September 2022, by

How do we control robots on the moon?

In the future, we imagine that teams of robots will explore and develop the surface of nearby planets, moons and asteroids - taking samples, building structures, deploying instruments.
25 September 2022, by , and

Have a say on these robotics solutions before they enter the market!

We have gathered robots which are being developed right now or have just entered the market. We have set these up in a survey style consultation.
24 September 2022, by

Shelf-stocking robots with independent movement

A robot that helps store employees by moving independently through the supermarket and shelving products. According to cognitive robotics researcher Carlos Hernández Corbato, this may be possible in the future. If we engineer the unexpected.
23 September 2022, by

RoboCup humanoid league: Interview with Jasper Güldenstein

We talked to Jasper Güldenstein about how teams transferred developments from the virtual humanoid league to the real-world league.
20 September 2022, by and

©2021 - ROBOTS Association


©2021 - ROBOTS Association