Lasers and robots receive funding in anti-graffiti drive

Written by Sam Trendall on 6 September 2021 in News
News

Five proposals will each receive up to £30,000 of government backing

Credit: Pixabay

The government hopes to tackle the scourge of graffiti with technologies including lasers, audio sensors, and wall-climbing robots.

National Highways – until recently known as Highways England – has announced the five winners of a competition that invited proposals for new products that could remove graffiti from the country’s road network – or even stop it happening in the first place.

Each of the following companies will receive up to £30,000 to support ongoing development:
 

  • Innovation Factory, a provider of audio sensors designed to detect when graffiti is being applied and trigger “audio and visual deterrents”
     
  • Sensing Feeling, which offers artificial intelligence software that aims to analyse behaviour to detect potential imminent vandalism, allowing authorities to turn on lights and alarms
     
  • HausBots, a manufacturer of wall-climbing droids that can apply preventative paints to areas that would be difficult or hazardous for humans to reach
     
  • Powerlase, a firm which uses graffiti-removal lasers that are designed to minimise damage to underlying paint and films
     
  • Nano Eco Group, which offers “3D chemical coating” that can prevent graffiti adhering to surfaces


National Highways said that, in addition to distracting drivers, graffiti on bridges or next to major roads can cost up to £10,000 to remove, as well requiring the closure of roads or lanes.

The organisation’s head of innovation Annette Pass said: “We are very excited about taking forward these fascinating, innovative solutions that could help us tackle the relentless problem of graffiti which takes up time and money that would be better spent elsewhere on our network. The standard of entries was very high and difficult decisions had to be made to whittle them down to a final five. But we are confident that as we develop these ideas further we will be able to identify modern solutions to this age-old problem.”

The competition was run in conjunction with the construction firm Kier and the government’s Connected Places Catapult.

 

About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

Categories

Share this page

Tags

Categories

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

Minister targets digitisation of all immigration documents by end of 2024
17 May 2022

Immigration minister Kevin Foster reiterates ambition to eliminate paper processes

DVLA to tap into Home Office immigration status service to expedite driving-licence applications
29 April 2022

Agency to establish ‘electronic link’ with department, minister claims

Majority of firms collect personal data, government report finds
19 May 2022

Potential of data economy – and importance of protecting information – highlighted by study

HMRC kick-starts project to create £180m digital one-stop-shop for UK traders
17 May 2022

Digital supplier sought to support work over the coming year