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Dalek Robot Fixes Potholes in 2 Minutes
Dalek blows away the dust and loose debris, sprays a tar-like glue over the hole and lays gravel on top.
By Robotics Trends Staff - Filed Apr 16, 2014

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Mention Daleks and a ruthless race of extraterrestrial robots intent on universal domination spring to mind.

But 'The Dalek' is also the nickname of a £200,000 machine that is exterminating potholes 30 times as fast as the conventional method of repair.

The machine is capable of filling in the craters in just two minutes, which could mean that in the future, millions of motorists will not have to travel over terrain worthy of an off-road driving experience.

The imposing machine is being tested on the roads of central Bedfordshire and is successful, motorists may see more Daleks on the road in future – and enjoy smoother journeys.

Millions of motorists will battle potholes over the Easter weekend as 3.4million Britons are expected to go on staycation.

As well as being faster than current methods of repair, the machine makes the job safer for workers as the driver can complete the process from inside the vehicles' cab, using a computer-style joystick.

It has a robotic arm, which extends from the cab over the pothole and fills it with material to fill in the crater.

The machine blows away the dust and loose debris, sprays a tar-like glue over the hole, then lays gravel on top. The machine blows away the dust and loose debris, sprays a tar-like glue over the hole, then lays gravel on top.

It is already used in the U.S. where it is known as the Pot Hole Killer and Central Bedfordshire Council is the first authority in England to trial the machine.

"Maintaining our roads is a really key priority for the council, although we're conscious that there is a balancing act between keeping the roads safe and minimising disruption for our residents, as well as keeping our highways teams safe while they work, said councillor Brian Spurr, executive member for Sustainable Communities, Services.

"We're constantly investigating new ways to keep up to speed with road improvements and trying out innovative technology like this ticks all the boxes to help us keep the road network moving.

"The road patcher is still going through a trial phase but could potentially be another way that we can improve the service for our residents.'

Margaret Seear, from leading public services provider Amey, which has rolled out the new machine as part of its Highways Agency contract for the East of England, said: 'Things like potholes can be a real headache for drivers and we are pleased to provide an efficient solution that has real benefits for our customer, our employees and road users.'

The trial comes as an annual report suggests the estimated cost of returning roads in England and Wales to a reasonable condition has increased to £12 billion.

The Asphalt Industry Alliance survey of local authorities said the cost has risen from £10.5 billion in 2013 and it it could take local authorities a decade to fix the roads

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