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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/W006235/1
Title EPSRC-SFI: ROBOCONE: intelligent robotics for next generation ground investigation and design
Status Started
Energy Categories Not Energy Related 95%;
Other Cross-Cutting Technologies or Research(Other Supporting Data) 5%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Computer Science and Informatics) 25%;
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences) 75%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr A Diambra

Civil Engineering
University of Bristol
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 July 2022
End Date 31 December 2025
Duration 42 months
Total Grant Value £1,203,430
Industrial Sectors Construction
Region South West
Programme NC : Engineering
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr A Diambra , Civil Engineering, University of Bristol (99.994%)
  Other Investigator Professor G Mylonakis , Civil Engineering, University of Bristol (0.001%)
Professor E Ibrahim , Civil Engineering, University of Bristol (0.001%)
Dr A Conn , Mechanical Engineering, University of Bristol (0.001%)
Professor DJ White , Sch of Engineering, University of Southampton (0.001%)
Professor S Gourvenec , Sch of Engineering, University of Southampton (0.001%)
Dr B Cerfontaine , Sch of Engineering, University of Southampton (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Fugro GeoServices Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Lloyd's Register EMEA (0.000%)
Project Contact , University of Western Australia (0.000%)
Project Contact , Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (0.000%)
Project Contact , Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, Ireland (0.000%)
Project Contact , University of California Davis, USA (0.000%)
Project Contact , Ørsted (0.000%)
Project Contact , Gavin & Doherty Geosolutions (0.000%)
Project Contact , Otherlab Ireland Limited (0.000%)
Project Contact , University of Bologna (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract Geotechnical infrastructure fundamentally underpins the transport, energy and utility networks of our society. The design of this infrastructure faces increasing challenges related to construction in harsher or more complex environments and stricter operating conditions. Modern design approaches recognise that the strength and stiffness of ground, and therefore the safety and resilience of our infrastructure, changes through time under the exposure to in-service loading - whether from trains, traffic, waves, currents, seasonal moisture cycles, redevelopment of built structures or nearby construction in congested urban areas. However, advances in geotechnical analysis methods have not been matched by better tools to probe and test the ground in situ, in a way that represents realistic real-world loading conditions.This research will improve current geotechnical site investigation practice by developing ROBOCONE - a new site investigation tool for intelligent ground characterisation - and its interpretative theoretical framework - from data to design. ROBOCONE will combine modern technologies in robotic control and sensor miniaturisation with new theoretical analyses of soil-structure interaction. Breaking free from the kinematic constraints of conventional site investigation tools, ROBOCONE will feature three modular sections which can be remotely actuated and controlled to impose horizontal, vertical and torsional kinematic mechanisms in the ground closely mimicking loading and deformation histories experienced during the entire lifespan of a geotechnical infrastructure. The device development will be supported by new theoretical approaches to interpret ROBOCONE's data to provide objective and reliable geotechnical parameters, ready for use in the modern "whole-life" design of infrastructure.This research will provide a paradigm shift in equipment for in situ ground characterisation. ROBOCONE will enable the cost-effective and reliable characterisation of advanced soil properties and their changes with time directly in-situ, minimising the need for costly and time-consuming laboratory investigations, which are invariably affected by sampling and testing limitations. Geotechnical in-situ characterisation will be brought into step with modern, resilient and optimised geotechnical design approaches.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 03/08/22