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Melbourne’s Metro Tunnel – Four-Legged Robot’s Assistance

Melbourne’s Metro Tunnel Four-Legged Robot

With the size of around a Labrador dog, an autonomous robot is advancing on Melbourne’s Metro Tunnel project.

In order to document progress in the twin tunnels with 9km length in the fit-out stage of the works, the four-legged robot by the name of Spot, is using cameras and a laser scanner, while it is the first time such a robot has been used on a Victorian infrastructure project.

Spot, which has autonomous navigation with 360-degree vision and can safely move around complex underground tunnels and platforms, is designed as a co-worker for construction projects and can even walk around people and obstacles. Despite repeatedly performing the same actions in the same way and at the right time, this robot provides consistent and accurate results every time.

Advancement of the Spot on Melbourne’s Metro Tunnel, was by capturing data throughout the tunnels to verify that what has been constructed is consistent with detailed plans. This helps streamline the construction team’s routine tasks, such as tunnel inspections, and improves efficiency, accuracy and safety.

Involving five new stations, the Metro Tunnel is creating a new end-to-end rail line in Melbourne, whereas the northern edge of the CBD is located beneath the existing City Loop tunnels at a depth of 40m.

Construction of major tunneling works and five underground stations are up to Cross Yarra Partnership consortium, comprising Lendlease Melbourne Metro, John Holland, Bouygues Construction, John Laing, and Capella Capital under a Public Private Partnership. A consortium comprising John Holland, CPB Contractors, and AECOM in partnership with Rail Projects Victoria and Metro Trains as the rail operator, were responsible for advancing the rail infrastructure contract, which includes cut and cover tunneling.

The determined deadline for completing this project is 2025.

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