19 Jul 2013

Sydney harbour bridge being cleaned by robots

5:27 am on 19 July 2013

Sydney harbour bridge is being cleaned and maintained by robots.

The bridge is being stripped of lead-based paint and to avoid endangering people, the University of Technology in Sydney has helped develop two-metre robotic arms doing the work.

The robots use cameras and sensors to map the bridge, and compressed air to cut through rust and paint.

They operate by scanning the area, creating a 3D map and working out how much force they should apply using high-pressure cleaners to strip paint from the bridge.

A BBC correspondent said repainting work is a never-ending task on the bridge which was opened in March 1932. The two robots are to remain a permanent part of the maintenance team.