The Advanced Highway Maintenance and Construction Technology Research Center has been developing robotic equipment and machinery for highway maintenance and construction operations. It is a cooperative venture between the University of California at Davis and the California Department of Transportation. The research and developed projects have the goal of increasing safety and efficiency of roadwork operations through the appropriate application of automation solutions. This report describes the continuing development of automated equipment for deploying and retrieving traffic cones. In this latest phase of the project, the center has created a fully functional automated cone machine prototype which is being used in tests and demonstrations on the highways of California. Operators using the ACM can place and retrieve cones without any set up and control the machine from within the confines of the cab. The machine can easily be run by a single operator and is very compatible with the process of closing a lane. As part of this development, second generation components of two critical components, the retrieval arm and the stowage system were accomplished and are described. Concurrent with development of the ACM prototype, a means of adding to the cone carrying capacity has been defined and a demonstration unit was produced. This concept can be readily integrated into the ACM and will allow it to carry a large number of cones for the less common long lane closures requiring 250 or more cones. These machines are an unambiguous demonstration of the successful application of
automation in a very demanding environment.
Publication Date: 1999
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Topics: Cone Shooter