The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a staggering architectural feat of 53,000 tonnes of steel, and is a mainstay in any images of the Australian city’s skyline but as one would imagine, cleaning it up for a new paint job is quite a big task as according a BBC report, the surface area is the equivalent to that of 60 sport pitches. This is where the robots, Sandy and Rosey, come in.
They are automated robots that are programmed to use high-pressure grit blasters that strip away layers of old paint from the surface of the bridge, as well a different nooks and crannies, to prepare it for re-painting. The development took over six years and was developed by researchers at the University of Technology, Sydney and the Roads and Maritime Service.
The robots can work unaided and efficiently and most importantly, can be used to complete dangerous tasks on the bridge, where it would be unwise to put manual workers.
“Our bridge maintenance staff are working in a very confined environment and even though everything is done to very high occupational health and safety standards it is still an uncomfortable place to work,” said Waruna Kaluarachchi, Planning and Delivery Manager at the Roads and Maritime Service.
Looking into the long term, such robots could be used to complete similarly high scale and dangerous tasks.