A concrete-rebar-tying robot has completed 2 million ties on job sites. TyBot uses artificial intelligence to go about its job with simple instructions from a technician, working autonomously and requiring no added human control.
Making its U.S. debut at the 2020 World of Concrete show, TyBot has had a busy year working on bridge projects throughout the U.S. The concrete rebar tying robot just tied its 2 millionth job tie.“We’re not a prototype or a science experiment or a university study,” says Jeremy Searock, co-founder and president of TyBot’s maker, Advanced Construction Robots. “TyBot is a product that’s doing real work.”
What is it?
But before we go into what TyBot does, let’s first look at what it is. TyBot is an autonomous robotic rebar-tying system, the first in ACR’s envisioned line of autonomous robotic equipment.Once TyBot is set up on a jobsite, a technician gives it a few inputs through a small remote-control panel, and then it goes to work, completely autonomously, using robotics and artificial intelligence.
Using computer vision, TyBot independently navigates bridge decks, identifies and ties rebar intersections, then moves on to the next intersection, working at a pace of about 1,000 ties per hour. ACR compares that to the average 150-250 ties per hour one worker can produce – a hard, backbreaking task.
TyBot is not remote controlled, although a bellybox console is used to communicate with and monitor TyBot. There is no pre-programming and no running off design files. TyBot sees each rebar mat intersection to be tied, according to Searock, and starts tying. “Off it goes,” he says.