Home GeoTech news HS2 robot set to reduce risk for tunnellers

HS2 robot set to reduce risk for tunnellers

HS2 robot set to reduce risk for tunnellers

An onboard robot will take charge to improve safety and efficiency as HS2 deploys on the project’s first two giant tunnelling machines which are set to launch early next year. The Align joint venture of Sir Robert McAlpine, Bouygues, and VolkerFitzpatrick will use the Krokodyl robot on the 10 mile long Chiltern tunnels.

HS2 makes use of this robot in a similar way to robotic arms used in a car factory production line and function. The robot will carry out simple repetitive tasks, like removing wooden spacers between tunnel segments and inserting connection dowels.

These operations by the HS2 robot are the ones that people generally do. Each of the tunnel segments weighs up to eight tonnes and is delivered to the TBM with wooden spacers between them which are generally removed by hand.

With this automation process, Krokodyl removes the need for people to work in this potentially hazardous area. It also helps with the installation of the 112,000 tunnel segments. The tunnel segments are erected as the TBM moves forward.

The movement of TBM is to form a structural water tight ring designed to support the ground loads. A second feature of the robot, known as the Dobydo, then places the dowels into position ready for the segment to be slotted into place.

Repeating the automation process, the robot reduces risk to people and improve safety and efficiency. The two 2,000 tonne TBMs named as ‘Florence’ and ‘Cecilia’ are due to be launched early next year from a site close to the M25.


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