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Robotic Drones Can Fill Potholes in 1 Minute

A group of pothole robots could soon be hitting streets throughout the UK, pinpointing cracks in pavements and roads and fixing them before they can develop into potholes. 

When the robot spots a crack in the road, it will use a 3D printer to spray asphalt into the crevice and repair it, all in under a minute. 

These pothole robots will work primarily after dark, doing their work during times that make road closures and traffic disruptions unnecessary. 

Leeds City Council is working with a team of designers and engineers to initiate a concept called ‘self-repairing cities.’ 

Structural Defects Insurance

UK roads

University College London Professor Mark Miodownik said that due to a backlog in repairs, UK roads are in a state of disrepair and that local councils and authorities lack sufficient personnel and funds to repair potholes when they appear. 

Professor Miodownik said that when these asphalt cracks appear, a drone circulating on the road network would be able to pinpoint them right away while another drone landed and carried out the actual repairs. It would simply stop over the crack, repair it, and move on. Any traffic in the vicinity at (for example) 4:00 a.m. would only be held up for a minute. 

He conceded that it was a different problem for motorways but for roads in Cheltenham and larger cities, a pothole robot would have practically no impact on traffic. 

Local councils and Highways England, which is responsible for maintaining major A-roads and motorways, have been known to go for months at a time without repairing potholes. Authorities insist that they lack the resources and funds to manage the country’s road crisis. 

They have also stated that the funding they need to efficiently maintain their roads this year is £556 million short.  

The latest study from Asphalt Industry Alliance indicates that it would take approximately  £9.3 billion and 14 years to complete all major and minor road maintenance and repairs. 

Highways England is presently reviewing new ways to use technology to repair the road network across Britain. In its December report, it predicted that in the future, cars will be able to detect potholes on roads and instantly alert authorities to schedule repairs. 

Specialists in Construction Insurance


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