hyperTunnel wins grant to build underpass using robot technology
25 January 2024
HyperTunnel has received funding from the UK government for its railway innovation project at the Global Centre of Rail Excellence (GCRE).
The project involves the construction of an underpass that will showcase hyperTunnel’s swarm construction technique, which uses AI, digital surveying, and swarm robotics to create an underground structure without excavation.
The aim is to provide a faster, less expensive, and more sustainable alternative to current cut-and-cover construction techniques. The underpass will be built under a GCRE test track and will be designed to allow the track above to remain open throughout the construction process. The project intends to provide a safe and economically viable alternative to level crossings, while increasing rail capacity and reducing inconvenience to road and rail users.
The GCRE is a rail research, testing, and certification facility being built in South Wales. It will become Europe’s premier site for rail and mobility innovation, providing a space for world-class research, testing, and certification of innovative new rail technologies.
The funding for the project has been provided by the Department for Business and Trade through the competition ‘GCRE: Railway Construction Innovation Phase 2’ delivered by InnovateUK in collaboration with GCRE.
“We are delighted that the GCRE sees the same potential in the hyperTunnel method as our partners in the construction industry,” said hyperTunnel co-founder Steve Jordan.
“Having spent many hundreds of hours developing our robot fleet in the lab in Basingstoke, the system is now ripe for being proven on a real site, in accelerated test conditions, and which can be visited by interested parties. The GCRE facility is going to be a huge opportunity for us and we can’t wait to get started and to present a feasible technological solution to the longstanding level-crossing issue.”