The National Academies

NCHRP IDEA 20-30/IDEA 049 [Completed (IDEA)]

Operational Testing of Roadwriter System
[ NCHRP 20-30 (NCHRP-IDEA) ]

  Project Data
Staff Responsibility: Dr. Inam Jawed

This project developed and tested an automated, computer-controlled, robotic prototype system (Roadwriter) with multiple axis movement capability to paint patterns and legends on highway pavements (Figure 1). Initially, a prototype system was designed, assembled, and tested. The test performance data were used to define operational algorithm, performance criteria, and system integration guidelines and to develop necessary hardware and software to produce a second-generation prototype. The new prototype showed improved features regarding safety, speed, quality, cost, and versatility and included a laser guidance system that allowed the operator to visually locate and orient the position where the legends were to be painted. Other improvements included a new spray head, a new long-life tip and a new less temperature-sensitive marking material. The computer system was also miniaturized and additional software was developed to improve the “smoothness” of the system. The Roadwriter system is estimated to cost about $300,000 and is believed to pay for itself in 18 months time not counting the savings resulting from improved worker, driver, and pedestrian safety and from reduced injuries and property damage. Two major equipment manufacturers have expressed interest in licensing the technology. Additional refinement and field testing are needed for a full implementation of this technology.


Final Report is not available.

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