An autonomous grit-blasting system for steel bridge
maintenance developed at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) in partnership with
theRoads and Maritime Services, NSW, Australia(RMS)
will be promoted by UniQuest at the 2012 World
Steel Bridge Symposium.
Held in Dallas, Texas, from 18-20 April, the annual event attracts more
than 3,500 steel bridge asset owners, engineers, fabricators and contractors
from the United States and around the world.
UTS commercialisation partner UniQuest is working closely with the UTS
research team from the Centre for
and RMS to develop the SABRETM
technology as a
commercial venture in Australia and overseas.
UniQuest Manager of Innovationi
& Commercial Development at UTS, Martin Lloyd
, said the SABRETM
system is the
outcome of a six-year research partnership between UTS and RMS, supported by an
Australian Research Council Linkage Grant.
“It’s the first system of its kind capable of autonomously sensing and
mapping a steel bridge environment, and then planning a suitable collision-free
grit-blasting pathway, all with the human operation outside of the blasting
zone” said Mr Lloyd.
“Steel bridges are a major part of any city or region’s infrastructure, but
in order to remain functional they need regular maintenance. Removing old paint
and rust requires heavy duty grit-blasting, which is a fatiguing and potentially
hazardous task for workers.SABRETM has been developed as a
sophisticated tool to reduce exposure risks for the grit-blasting operators,” Mr
Assisting workers to do the difficult, hazardous and laborious
grit-blasting task reduces the risk of injury for workers those exposed to heavy
equipment, fine dust and paint particles, and dangerous blast streams. Safety
for the operator is also improved as the system can be supervised and interacted
with remotely, outside of the containment area.
"RMS' attitude towards Work Health and Safety is safety first, work second.
The system provides a safer working environment by reducing the time our 'suited
up' operators have to spend in the grit blasting environment," said Phil Brooks,
RMS Technology Development Manager.
The SABRETM system is also able to perform work on areas that
are difficult for humans to reach, such as corners, upper beams, ceilings and
roofs, without additional scaffolding.
Investors and industry partners with an interest in large infrastructure
maintenance are encouraged to learn more about the innovation’s potential whilst
attending the Symposium.
technology is an excellent example of how
collaborative research and development between universities and industry can
lead to significant innovations and solutions to real-world challenges,” said
UniQuest Managing Director, David
“The SABRETM technology aims to have a significant health,
safety and economic impact, and the World Steel Bridge Symposium presents a
unique opportunity to promote it in the US, where there are more than 200,000
steel bridges that need regular maintenance.”
Prospective investors and industry partners not planning to attend the
Symposium can still register their interest in the technology by contacting
Martin Lloyd directly on +61 2 9514 2370 or email@example.com