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 :

Automate 2023 recap and the receding horizon problem

“Thirty million developers” are the answer to driving billion-dollar robot startups, exclaimed Eliot Horowitz of Viam last week at Automate.
01 June 2023, by

We are pleased to announce our 3rd Reddit Robotics Showcase!

The 2021 and 2022 events showcased a multitude of fantastic projects from the r/Robotics Reddit community, as well as academia and industry. This year’s event features many wonderful robots including...
30 May 2023, by

European Robotics Forum 2023 was a success!

One of the highlights of the conference for us was our workshop "Supporting SMEs in Bringing Robotics Solutions to Market", where experts gave insights on how DIHs can create a greater impact for SMEs and facilitate a broad uptake and integration of robotics technologies in the industry.
28 May 2023, by

Helping robots handle fluids

Researchers create a new simulation tool for robots to manipulate complex fluids in a step toward helping them more effortlessly assist with daily tasks.
27 May 2023, by

Robot Talk Episode 50 – Elena De Momi

In this week's episode of the Robot Talk podcast, host Claire Asher chatted to Elena De Momi from the the Polytechnic University of Milan all about surgical robotics, artificial intelligence, and the upcoming ICRA robotics conference in London.
26 May 2023, by

Building a Tablebot

There was a shortage of entries in the tablebot competition shortly before the registration window closed for RoboGames 2023. To make sure the contest would be held, I entered a robot. Then I had to build one.
23 May 2023, by

©2021 - ROBOTS Association


©2021 - ROBOTS Association