IAI Continues Development of a Robotic Utility Mapping and Installation System for the DOT

Relocating overhead sensors to the subsurface of roads could effectively reduce safety hazards for drivers and pedestrians. However, this transition requires a detailed map of existing underground utilities and obstructions, to avoid both mechanical damage to the existing infrastructure and accidents during horizontal directional drilling (HDD). IAI is continuing to develop RUMI, the Robotic Utility Mapping and Installation System, a comprehensive robotic solution that improves the safety and productivity of underground utility construction. RUMI uses autonomous sensing with advanced imaging and mapping to install utilities with real-time feedback. The key innovation of RUMI is a versatile robotic sensor platform with complimentary sensing modalities and fusion algorithms to accurately locate the drill-head, during HDD in cluttered environments. With the system’s continued development, IAI now plans to create a second generation robot prototype, RUMI-2. RUMI-2 will enable accurate 3D utility mapping and support precise robotic drill-head tracking with multiple magnetic dipole transceivers. The system will provide effective robotic HDD cross bore and enhance the safety of utility workers through robotics, and state-of-art geophysical surveying sensors. The system will be compatible with thousands of existing MINI- and MIDI-size HDD rigs, enabling quick adoption within the utility and construction industries.