California Department of Transportation
 

COMMERCIALIZED PRODUCTS

All of the projects listed below were commercialized through the Division of Research and Innovation and Technology and Industry Alliances (TIA) through the Advanced Highway Maintenance and Construction Technology Center (AHMCT).

Automated Roadway Debris Vacuum System

Roadway litter removal is labor intensive, may expose workers to traffic, and costs the nation over half a billion dollars a year. To help make litter removal safer and more efficient, a litter removal system has been produced, called the "Automated Roadway Debris VACuum" or "ARDVAC" that integrates an easily-controlled, dextrous, end-effecter with a commercial vacuum system. It is designed to be an add-on feature for existing, commercially-available sewer and ditch cleaning trucks, which makes rapid commercialization of this concept very likely.

Most litter can be readily collected by using a "vacuum cleaner" of sufficient size. The traditional problem has been how to position the vacuum in tight places while working from a cab. The dexterity achieved with the ARDVAC system allows easy access to roadway edges and collection of the litter that tends to blow up against fence lines, vegetation, and other objects. Using a joystick control from within a cab, an operator can quickly vacuum behind guard rails, down into depressions, and under bushes.

Implementing the ARDVAC system into a maintenance operation will allow for more regular collections of litter and greatly reduce the hazardous manual labor involved in this task.

Automated Roadway Debris Vacuum System

 

 


Automated Litter Bag/Debris Collection Vehicle

Litter bag and debris removal operations vary in procedure, but have in common low efficiency, moderate costs, and high risk of injury. Some operations require one worker to drive along the roadside, periodically stopping and getting out to throw bags or debris from the roadside into the truck. Other operations allow the driver to stay in the vehicle while additional crew persons remove litter bags and large debris from the roadside and place them in the truck.

Manual retrieving of litter bags and debris can be greatly improved in terms of efficiency and safety with the introduction of the Automated Litter Bag/Debris Collection Vehicle. The main goal of the machine is to reduce the number of personnel required for the operation and keep the worker safely within the vehicle while still allowing efficient performance.

The pinch bucket can grip objects such as multiple or single litter bags, tires, mufflers, and lumber. The maximum payload of the bucket is approximately 45.4 kilograms (100 pounds).

Automated Litter Bag/Debris Collection Vehicle

 

 


Automated Cone Machine

Currently, traffic cones are deployed by a person riding on the exterior of a modified vehicle. This person is typically either standing in a basket at the end of a truck or sitting near ground level between the axles of the customized cone body truck. On the current cone truck, two horizontal stacks of cones are fed by conveyor to a worker who then places or retrieves the cones while another person drives the vehicle.

A machine has been developed that can automatically place and retrieve traffic cones. This machine fits onto existing traffic cone trucks and all operations are controlled from within the cab by either the driver or a second operator.

The machine places cones in the forward travel direction and retrieves them in either forward or reverse directions at speeds up to 10 mph. The machine is designed so that no on-site set-up is required, and both deployment and stowage of the mechanism is simple and fast. The entire operation is under control of the driver, who remains in the truck cab during both deployment and retrieval. The machine is designed so that manual operation, as currently performed, is still be possible in the event of unusual circumstances.

The product was commercialized by a California company but is not currently available for purchase

Automated Cone Machine