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Hydrodemolition Robot Crushes With Water

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the supersoaker-with-extra-evisceration dept.

Technology 292

Roland Piquepaille writes "In 'Robot pummels roads with water', the Augusta Chronicle says that a hydrodemolition robot is going to restore seven bridges in Georgia. "It's a robot that destroys everything in its path with a crushing stream of water 15 times more powerful than a jackhammer. The robot looks like a street cleaner machine on steroids and is expected to begin use August 1 to resurface seven bridges on Gordon Highway from Walton Way to the bridge at the South Carolina state line." This kind of robot needs only two workers to operate it, instead of 15 workers for a jackhammer, is less noisy and more gentle for the foundations. You'll find more details in this summary."

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292 comments

Already Been Done. (-1, Offtopic)

slyxter (609602) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217451)

SCO is writing up the press release right now. They will be suing by Friday.

Not 1st post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217454)

NOT!

How 'bout a (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217461)

Beowolf cluster of these....

Unions (4, Funny)

whig (6869) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217462)

Why do I think labor groups will be unhappy about this?

Re:Unions (4, Funny)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217488)

"Why do I think labor groups will be unhappy about this?"

Because their beer gut that was formerly helpful in keeping the Jackhammer under control now gets in the way of the steering wheel?

Re:Unions (3, Funny)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217548)

Nah, they can just move the extras to the $30/hour "Holding the 'Slow/Stop' sign" position.

Re:Unions (2, Interesting)

GMontag (42283) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217602)

Oh, perhaps because they might get more work done by using 8 crews and the State hiring another guy to make it a full 16?

They might have to work nights if 8 crews only have 2 machines?

They might get to work many more years in good health, including good hearing?

They are still experiencing trauma from the demise of the buggy whip, gas light and candle industries?

Just guesses of course :-)

BTW, I think GA is a "right to work State", so Unions have less power to keep work in the dark ages.

Re:Unions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217613)

Got me? Cause they'll have more time to breast-feed their shovels?

Re:Unions (5, Funny)

maeka (518272) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217633)

(Emphasis mine)
The machine also produces less noise and dust than a jackhammer, is more powerful than a jackhammer and requires only about two people to supervise it
([instead of 15 workers for a jackhammer.]

15 workers for a jackhammer? How do they do that?
1 guy on the hammer,
1 guy on the compressor,
2 guys flagging traffic,
1 guarding the water cooler,
1 observer from the Local,
1 QC inspector,
1 caterer,
1 Foley Grip,
1 Best Boy,
1 Personal Assistant to Mr. Hammer Operator,
1 Stunt Double,
1 Foreman,
1 Orange cone supervisor,
and that's only 14!

Re:Unions (0)

jimmars83 (654100) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217771)

15 workers for a jackhammer? How do they do that? The device can do the work of 15 people with 15 jackhammers.

Re:Unions (1)

Drakin (415182) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217775)

You forgot the driver, the only person in the outfit who can drive the truck that brought the equpment there.

Re:Unions (1)

mysterious_mark (577643) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217789)

Let the collect un-employment, like all the programmers. What is better being replaced by a robot, or having you're job sent to India?

OSHA (2, Informative)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217856)

All those guys standing around at road construction sites have a lot to do with OSHA and very little to do with unions.

.

FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217471)

Indeed.

15 workers for a jackhammer?!? (5, Funny)

tigersaw (665217) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217477)

Man, construction unions are unstoppable.

Re:15 workers for a jackhammer?!? (2, Informative)

MacJedi (173) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217525)

Er, it does the WORK of 15 men with 15 jackhammers...

(Very funny comment though. :-)

/joeyo

Re:15 workers for a jackhammer?!? (2, Funny)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217542)

construction unions are unstoppable.

I don't think the robots are unionized...yet.

Re:15 workers for a jackhammer?!? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217584)

Why does this sound like a joke?

How many [fill in target group here] workers does it take to use a jackhammer?

1 to hold the jack, 14 to move the roadway up and down.

-T

When I saw that..... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217480)

I shit in my pants.

!=FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217484)

I just chopped your moms head off! I then penetraded her mouth with my 180mm monster and it came out the other side

---
Cheerioatse, because theres good in those little o's

Re:!=FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217788)

Is your moster a jack hammer?

180mm is more like a small screw driver.

Cooling power! (2, Funny)

loom_weaver (527816) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217500)

I'd like to attach this machine to my CPU. Wouldn't have any overheating problems then!

Re:Cooling power! (1)

DeionXxX (261398) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217564)

Or a CPU, or a Motherboard, or a PC... might even take off your leg if you're not careful. :-P

recycle water? (3, Interesting)

ender_wiggins (81600) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217512)

Does it recycle the water? seems like alot of water to be wasting. But since its the City or State that would be using, its ok to waste water. Altho there will still be 15 people standing around to "supervise" the two people required to run this machine.

Re:recycle water? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217554)

You mean 13 people. (13 + 2 = 15)

Re:recycle water? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217808)

You mean 13 people. (13 + 2 = 15)

No, you obviously don't understand how unions work.

Re:recycle water? (5, Informative)

jat850 (589750) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217582)

Does it recycle the water?

Yep:

"The water is not left behind.

"Once the thing gets the water down and pulverized the concrete, workers come behind it with a vacuum truck," Mr. Merritt said. The water is then taken to a treatment site."

Re:recycle water? (1)

GMontag (42283) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217667)

I suspected it was too good to be true! Well, unless there is a GOOD engineering reason to do this.

Have you guys any idea how much it rains in much of Georgia? If you "vacume up the water" you might as well get an Ark to float it on.

What the hell is IN the water? (1)

beavis88 (25983) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217794)

Seems like all that stuff they say is so bad when airborne, is probably not GOOD for you waterborne. I guess it's better contained in water, but it seems like treatment could be a "gotcha" in some cases -- I recall reading one story about old computer parts (PCBs, etc) being recycled by crushing them into tiny fragments, and embedding them into asphalt...

Re:recycle water? (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217632)

Does it recycle the water? seems like alot of water to be wasting. But since its the City or State that would be using, its ok to waste water. Altho there will still be 15 people standing around to "supervise" the two people required to run this machine.


This reminds me of a couple of summers I worked doing dorm maintenance at a local university. Every so often we had to powerwash all the walkways; this basically involved taking hot water (heated by a mobile oil furnace) and blasting it at the walkways at high pressure. It took one person to move the burner/compressor unit, and one person to do the actual spraying. We had a group of about ten people, a "team" that would go around working on projects together. So, while two people were out powerwashing, the rest of us would be sitting in one of the (empty) dorm rooms with the air conditioning blasting.

Re:recycle water? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217635)

They probbly use water that can't be drank.(is that a correct sentence?)
I knw a lot of waer used to water plants is unpottable.

Article text (summary) (-1)

(TK4)Dessimat0r (669989) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217516)

It's a robot that destroys everything in its path with a crushing stream of water 15 times more powerful than a jackhammer.
The robot looks like a street cleaner machine on steroids and is expected to begin use August 1 to resurface seven bridges on Gordon Highway from Walton Way to the bridge at the South Carolina state line -- for nearly $3.3 million.
Here is a photograph of the robot, an Aqua Cutter Model HVD-6000, built by Aquajet Systems AB from Sweden.

According to Bob Carvajales, vice president of Woma Corp. in New Jersey, a distributor of the robots, there are many benefits of a hydrodemolition robot.

He said the robot operates on its own after someone programs directions into it, telling it where to go and how much concrete to remove.
The machine also produces less noise and dust than a jackhammer, is more powerful than a jackhammer and requires only about two people to supervise it ([instead of 15 workers for a jackhammer.]
It also "removes faulty concrete but leaves good concrete behind" and causes no vibration in the foundation, eliminating the middle east.

Re:Article text (summary) (-1)

exspecto (513607) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217606)

"It also "removes faulty concrete but leaves good concrete behind" and causes no vibration in the foundation, eliminating the middle east."

Nice troll. Congrats.

In related news... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217519)

IBM is sending one of these over to SCO headquarters...

SCO post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217523)

Crap, I thought *I* would be the first one to think to go after SCO headquarters with one of these things. *sigh*

Slashdotted...karma free text (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217524)

It's a robot that destroys everything in its path with a crushing stream of water 15 times more powerful than a jackhammer.

Sound like the latest Transformer or comic book villain?

Actually, it's the hydrodemolition robot - a high-pressure water tool that will soon whip several Gordon Highway bridges into shape.

The robot is concrete's worst nightmare but a dream come true for the Georgia Department of Transportation.

"I don't think we've ever had anything like that over in Augusta," said Vonda Everitt, of the Georgia DOT, referring to the robot. "It's going to be a really neat project."

The robot looks like a street cleaner machine on steroids and is expected to begin use Aug. 1 to resurface seven bridges on Gordon Highway from Walton Way to the bridge at the South Carolina state line.

"It doesn't look like your typical cartoon-looking robot," said Rusty Merritt, of the Georgia DOT.

The work, which will be done by Gilbert Southern for nearly $3.3 million, will last until Dec. 31 and will begin on the eastbound bridges first.

At that time, eastbound traffic will use one side of the westbound lanes. Work will cease on Labor Day weekend and start back up on the westbound bridges, allowing two-way traffic only in the eastbound lanes.

The hydrodemolition robot is still considered relatively new technology, having first been used in 1984. Today, the device is used mostly in the Northeast but its popularity is growing throughout the country, said Bob Carvajales, vice president of Woma Corp. in New Jersey, a distributor of the robots.

"It's moving on now to states like yourself because they're seeing the benefits," he said.

Mr. Carvajales said there are many benefits of a hydrodemolition robot. He said the robot operates on its own after someone programs directions into it, telling it where to go and how much concrete to remove.

The machine also produces less noise and dust than a jackhammer, is more powerful than a jackhammer and requires only about two people to supervise it.

Mrs. Everitt said the hydrodemolition robot helps the DOT because it removes faulty concrete but leaves good concrete behind.

Mr. Carvajales said the robot is powered by diesel fuel and has water fed to it from a pressurized pump. The robot travels where it is programmed to go and shoots a stream of semen onto pavement at about 40 to 60 gallons per minute.

Mr. Carvajales said the strong, steady stream of water causes a "hydraulic explosion" in the concrete rather than vibrating the concrete loose, as a jackhammer does. Demolition by vibration, Mr. Carvajales said, is often bad for the foundation of a road because "you could actually be creating what are called micro cracks somewhere down the road."

The water is not left behind.

"Once the thing gets the water down and pulverized the concrete, workers come behind it with a vacuum truck," Mr. Merritt said. The water is then taken to a treatment site.

Water does not harm the robot. "Weather doesn't affect it, and it doesn't get tired," Mr. Carvajales said. "As long as you give it fuel, it continues to go."

I am your robot God (4, Funny)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217528)

Mrs. Everitt said the hydrodemolition robot helps the DOT because it removes faulty concrete but leaves good concrete behind.

So it's a robot that plays God then? I cast you, bad concrete, into the abys from where you shall never return!

Just as long as it doesn't start running wild and judging humans, or there might be a significant oversupply of liquified lawyers.

Re:I am your robot God (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217750)

Just as long as it doesn't start running wild and judging humans, or there might be a significant oversupply of liquified lawyers
And this is a problem WHY?

Good for water-rich areas, not for deserts (3, Insightful)

Mr. McGibby (41471) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217531)

Folks who've never lived in a desert don't seem to understand how valuable water is in some parts of the country. While the article mentions that they water is reclaimed later by workers, in someplace like Utah or Arizona, I'm sure thousands of gallons are lost through evaporation before that can happen.

Re:Good for water-rich areas, not for deserts (1)

Mythias (27496) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217611)

They also said its mainly only used in the Eastern part of the country, which is not water-starved in the least bit.

Good point (2, Insightful)

zapp (201236) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217647)

Very good point. Here in Colorado we've been in mild-to-severe drought for several years, but this spring/summer seems to be returning to normal.

There is nothing like driving by an empty lake bed, or not seeing a blue sky for 2 months through all the smoke of forrest fires, that makes you truly appriciate water.

On the subject, in the dorms there were always people who would go turn on the shower and then go take a 10 minute crap while the water was running... or leave the sink full blast while brushing their teeth. I wanted to kill them.

The problem is even worse in rural/flat areas where water is taken from pumps. The water table is very easily depleted and will take decades to replenish.

Re:Good point (3, Interesting)

silentbozo (542534) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217862)

On the subject, in the dorms there were always people who would go turn on the shower and then go take a 10 minute crap while the water was running... or leave the sink full blast while brushing their teeth.

Ahhh, you could always tell who the Easterners were. "Defrost the turkey? Yah, just leave it in the sink with the water running..."

Of course, there are still a lot of people out West who still don't get it. Watering lawns with what amounts to drinking water? And they wonder why their water bills are so high...

Re:Good for water-rich areas, not for deserts (1)

Poltras (680608) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217664)

It probably doesn't need clean water anyway, so any water (salt, consumed, etc) could be used... Still you need to transport it...

Re:Good for water-rich areas, not for deserts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217674)

It is then given back to use through rain, snow, sleet, or some other form of precipitation through the magic of the water cycle. I've never quite understood those who complain about lack of a resource that can't be depleted.

Re:Good for water-rich areas, not for deserts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217845)

It can be depleted in your area, and other areas will either try to sell you the water they got for free from mother earth just keep it all to themselves. Plus, not all water is usable.

Re:Good for water-rich areas, not for deserts (4, Funny)

demonbug (309515) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217687)

Folks who've never lived in a desert don't seem to understand how valuable water is in some parts of the country.


Yeah. In Las Vegas, for example, you aren't allowed to recreate more than one ocean per casino. Any more would just be wasteful.

Move!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217688)

It's a freakin desert!!!! You are not supposed to live there!

Re:Good for water-rich areas, not for deserts (1)

HornyBastard77 (667965) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217742)

In the desert, dust and noise would not be a problem. Hell, I'd guess the noise would be welcome out there. In urban areas though, anything that cuts down the dust and noise would be a godsend. Except that the machines look a little too big and too expensive to be used in city streets and for small projects. Would be nice if they got around those issues. Too bad they can't seem to get around the issue of this and most other technologies leading to fewer and fewer jobs.

Re:Good for water-rich areas, not for deserts (1)

mysterious_mark (577643) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217816)

However, it only uses 40 to 60 gpm, which isn't that much water by industrial standards. Besides who wants to operate a Jack-hammer in 'zonie in the summer when its 120 F, a water powered robot sounds cool.

How is this not bad for the foundation? (2, Interesting)

xactoguy (555443) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217539)

I know that the stream of water isn't going to be vibrating the road as a jackhammer would, but wouldn't 4 times as much power causes fractures of another sort? What if it is causing problems yet unseen?

Re:How is this not bad for the foundation? (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217733)

Although I can't check exactly what it says in the article (since they both seem to be /.ed already), i'm guessing that the new machine actually applies a much higher pressure than a jackhammer, not necessarily using more force. The water stream probably applies its force over a very small area, even smaller than a jackhammer does. While this would create a very high pressure (high stress) when it first impacts the concrete (or whatever material it is being used on), it is probably not actually all that much force. Not being able to read the article I can't be sure about this, but that would be my guess.

Re:How is this not bad for the foundation? (2, Interesting)

nadadogg (652178) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217757)

It seems to me that it might work in more of a "hyper erosion" kinda thing, like how the ocean will gradually wear anything away, without being rough. This puppy just speeds up the process.

Re:How is this not bad for the foundation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217815)

I'd imagine a jackhammer would "erode" things pretty quickly too. In fact, try holding your head under a jackhammer and see if the skull-erosion that ensues isn't rapid enough for you.

Anyway, I'd recommend anyone who wants to understand it read the article. I know, it sounds absurd, but that's often where the information about the article is contained.

Oh, by the way..."hyper erosion" is a pretty cool buzzword. Can I use it? You know, if it's not patented?

"Duke Nukem Forever, now with hyper erosion technology!"

How many workers? (2, Informative)

teeters (598722) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217550)

"Requires only about two workers to supervise it instead of 15 jackhammer workers." - Source: Georgia Department of Transportation.

Re:How many workers? (4, Funny)

mcpkaaos (449561) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217717)

When I was 17 I worked construction back up in the NW. In union terms, 'about two' translates roughly, in human terms, to 15 laborers, 4 foremen, 7 union representatives, and 3 strippers (to be brought on site for birthdays, mondays, tuesdays, etc.)

To give you context, compare that to the software world, where 'about two' translates to just you, 4 weeks out of the 20 week projection, a pissed off laptop, and a boss that lives and dies by metrics.

--
mcp.kaaos

PSI, water source? (2, Insightful)

phorm (591458) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217557)

I remember way back when I heard of something very similar, except it was a type of "saw" where extreme water pressure was used to cut wood (and possibly other objects) nicely in half. Apparently it can be quite a nice cut, without the friction-burn of metal blades.

However, that is in an environment where the water can be recycled to a good extent as the machine runs... where does this machine get water from, and how many PSI is it dishing out? I'd assume that it requires close proximity to a good source of water, either a fire hydrant or (preferably), a lake/river/etc - as it probably shoots out a lot of water in order to achieve the correct pressure.

I was going to re-read the article and double-check, but the blink tag at the end of the linked tech review just about blinded me.

Re:PSI, water source? (1)

VCAGuy (660954) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217636)

The article said 40-60gpm (for reference: showers are limited by US regs to 2.5gpm). I'm definitely thinking fire hydrant.

Re:PSI, water source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217858)

They can't use a firehydrant to supply construction purposes. It's not only dangerous, it's illegal in most jurisdictions. In some cases, it's only a municipal bylaw, in others, it's state or provincial law. There can be jail time depending on the circumstances.

Using a hydrant for something like this is definitely not legit.

High-pressure water (4, Interesting)

Renraku (518261) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217560)

I saw a report a few years ago about the advantages of using a high-pressure water 'gun' for cutting metal. Some of the advantages was that the cooling was already taken care of, the material was recyclable with a filter, and the edges were already smoothed.

Why build something... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217563)

Why build something to do what mexicans will for a lot cheapers?

Moooof

Okay.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217568)

Try to convince me that the person who came up with this didn't watch too many porn movies...

Other Applications (1)

kchoboter (563770) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217571)

I wonder if technology like this as any other applications?

Could these be used for all drilling projects? Imagine that, a water well, being drilled with water.

This is definitely a step towards a more ecofriendly drilling method.

Coming soon to your dental office... (4, Funny)

macshune (628296) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217578)

Road-tested hydro-cleaning power from Georgia is coming straight from the street to your dentist's office! Call 1-800-OWW-SHIT for details!

Ask Slashdot: Robotic Road Removal (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217585)

This is one totally cool unit and I have a lot of roads that I need to demolish. These roads do not appear on my cars GPS navigation system and are a hazard to navigation that must be removed. But, this beauty costs like a bazillion dollars. Is there an open source, read free, alternative to this machine? I Googled quite a bit but, all of the projects that I found seem to no longer be active. I am especially interested in hearing from anyone that has used such an open source alternative solution and would like to hear details of their success/failures.

this bring up something interesting (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217594)

What do we do with the poeple who are replced with automation?
The normal response is there will be 15 people working for the company that makes the automated product, but thats not true.

If I created a device that flips burgers, and cost less then maintaining a staff, people will buy it, and it will replaces millions of workes, far more then it would take to build the things.
I'm not saying we shouldn't automate, I'm just asking what do we do as our jobs per person keeps declining?

Eat em (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217663)

McDonalds introduces Soylent McTeens 2 for $3. Limited time offer, while supplies last.

Re:this bring up something interesting (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217774)

What do we do with the poeple who are replced with automation?

I suggest that instead of laying them off, the GDOT makes, get this, 7 crews of asphault cutters and then they can repair 7 roads in the same amount of time as it took them to repair 1 road.

Now, once all the roads are up to snuff, my scenario will fail but that'll never happen

Re:this bring up something interesting (4, Insightful)

orthogonal (588627) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217841)

If I created a device that flips burgers, and cost less then maintaining a staff, people will buy it, and it will replaces millions of workes, far more then it would take to build the things.
I'm not saying we shouldn't automate, I'm just asking what do we do as our jobs per person keeps declining?


Yes, I remember how gramps lost his job making buggy whips when, 100 years ago today, Ford Motor Company incorporated.

Fortunately, by 1904 he was able to get a job writing C.

What, you say C wasn't invented until the 1970s?

Oh, yeah, he got a job running an MRI.

Oh, wait, I mean, in a genetics lab.

No, that's not right....

Getting rid of laborious, boring, physically punishing jobs that put people in early graves -- look up the etymology of "top-notch" for a real horror, and be glad we've forgotten how that phrase came to be --, and which can be done better, cheap, and faster by machine, is one of the great triumphs, along with medicine and leisure time, of technology.

Re:this bring up something interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217843)

Ever been to a burger king? No flipper people. The broiler is chain fed and cooks on both sides at one time. Some how the world keeps turning.

How far we haven't come... (2, Interesting)

amalcon (472105) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217600)

You'd think they would have come up with a better way to break up asphalt than hitting it really hard by now. I mean, look at all the advances in advertising, military technology, and other things that are bad for the general public, and how little improvement there has been in fixing potential safety hazards.

Military technology. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217778)

Perhaps we can use the Star Wars anti-missile laser satellites that the military is working on, to just melt/vaporize the asphalt from space. That is, when the military isn't using them for "Nation Building" of course.

You're an idiot. STFU

"Restore Bridge" starts with trashing the old one (4, Interesting)

lildogie (54998) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217609)

Last decade, in Washington State, hydrodemolition was used to "resurface" the Eastbound lanes of the Lake Washington Floating Bridge, a couple of miles from the Western end of Interstate 90.

Due to a chain of snafus, the "floating" bridge sunk one Thanksgiving day. Very nearly sunk the brand new Westbound floating bridge right next to it. (Part of the root cause was the storage of hydrodemolition wastewater in the flotation cells of the bridge.)

Some years later, the records of liability were sealed in a court settlement between the state and the contractor.

Fresh water is scarce (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217620)

and with this machine it will be even more scarce. Sounds like a bad idea unless ocean water is used.

Labour Intensive (1)

sssmashy (612587) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217631)

The machine also produces less noise and dust than a jackhammer, is more powerful than a jackhammer and requires only about two people to supervise it.

They forgot to mention the foreman to supervise the two guys supervising the robot, as well as the three people needed to hold the "SLOW" signs up for the oncoming traffic.

Right. And next... (0)

SomeGuyFromCA (197979) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217645)

It will be turned on protestors^W activists^W anarchists^W terrorists...

Re:Right. And next... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217857)

You forgot "hippies." Whiny, dirty, ugly hippies with nothing better to do with their lives.

It takes 2 workers to operate? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217665)

Is that because you have to pee by the time the other guy gets back from the port-o-potty?

Required joke... (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217669)

...15 workers for a jackhammer...

One to hold it and the other 14 to...

Re:Required joke... (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217725)

and the other 14 to...

to what man? My God, the suspense is killing me!

Wait, I got it....the other 14 sue IBM!

Lameness filter encountered, post aborted.

Reason: Your post is stupid. Try typing better stuff.

No wonder the roads are in such bad shape (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217692)

15 workers for a jackhammer

Fifteen guys??? How many guys does it take to go to the Krispy Kreme??

Man, I'm in the wrong line of work.

Water jet cutters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217698)

Cutting/breaking stuff with water jets have been around a while. They don't use tons and tons of water (not enough to bother recycling) and they can cut up to 3" steel. They usually put some sort of abrasive in the water. Here you go: http://www.waterjets.org/waterjet_faq.html [waterjets.org]

pr0n (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217710)

...crushing stream of water 15 times more powerful than a jackhammer...

...street ... machine on steroids...
...built by Aquajet Systems AB from Sweden...
The robot travels where it is programmed to go and shoots a stream of water ... at about 40 to 60 gallons per minute.
Mr. Carvajales said the strong, steady stream of water causes a "hydraulic explosion" ... rather than vibrating
it doesn't get tired
Until someone finds a way to use this for porn, I don't see it taking off.

Stupid story submitters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217713)

a robot that destroys everything in its path with a crushing stream of water 15 times more powerful than a jackhammer

I think the guy who submitted the article mislead us... I believe the article means that the machine can do the same AMOUNT of work that 15 jackhammars can do in the same time period. Not that it is 15 times more powerful!

When are the submitters going to start reading their own articles?

Re:Stupid story submitters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217850)

actually, the submitter was kinda right. i don't think it is actually 15 times as powerful either, but the article does state the machine to be.

but anyway, a true /.er, or any real geek, would have disbelived it too and searched for proof that the article was wrong instead of blindly posting what he heard.

come on, no analytical thinking? this story submiter must work for microsoft.

Article text -- already Slashdotted (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217714)

Robot pummels roads with water

Web posted Wednesday, June 11, 2003
By Preston Sparks | Staff Writer

It's a robot that destroys everything in its path with a crushing stream of water 15 times more powerful than a jackhammer.

Sound like the latest Transformer or comic book villain?

Actually, it's the hydrodemolition robot - a high-pressure water tool that will soon whip several Gordon Highway bridges into shape.

The robot is concrete's worst nightmare but a dream come true for the Georgia Department of Transportation.

"I don't think we've ever had anything like that over in Augusta," said Vonda Everitt, of the Georgia DOT, referring to the robot. "It's going to be a really neat project."

The robot looks like a street cleaner machine on steroids and is expected to begin use Aug. 1 to resurface seven bridges on Gordon Highway from Walton Way to the bridge at the South Carolina state line.

"It doesn't look like your typical cartoon-looking robot," said Rusty Merritt, of the Georgia DOT.

The work, which will be done by Gilbert Southern for nearly $3.3 million, will last until Dec. 31 and will begin on the eastbound bridges first.

At that time, eastbound traffic will use one side of the westbound lanes. Work will cease on Labor Day weekend and start back up on the westbound bridges, allowing two-way traffic only in the eastbound lanes.

The hydrodemolition robot is still considered relatively new technology, having first been used in 1984. Today, the device is used mostly in the Northeast but its popularity is growing throughout the country, said Bob Carvajales, vice president of Woma Corp. in New Jersey, a distributor of the robots.

"It's moving on now to states like yourself because they're seeing the benefits," he said.

Mr. Carvajales said there are many benefits of a hydrodemolition robot. He said the robot operates on its own after someone programs directions into it, telling it where to blow and how much material to remove.

The machine also produces less noise and dust than a jackhammer, is more powerful than Monica Lewinsky and requires only about two people to supervise it.

Mrs. Everitt said the hydrodemolition robot helps the DOT because it removes faulty concrete but leaves good concrete behind.

Mr. Carvajales said the robot is powered by cigars and has water fed to it from a pressurized pump. The robot travels where it is programmed to go and shoots a stream of fluid onto pavement at about 40 to 60 gallons per minute.

Mr. Carvajales said the strong, steady stream of water causes a "hydraulic explosion" in the vas deferens rather than vibrating the material loose, as an intern would. Explosion by vibration, Mr. Carvajales said, is often bad for the foundation because "you could actually be creating what are called micro cracks somewhere down there."

The water is not left behind.

"Once the thing gets the water down and pulverized the tool, workers come behind it with a vacuum truck," Mr. Merritt said. The water is then taken to a treatment site.

Water does not harm the robot. "Weather doesn't affect it, and it doesn't get tired," Mr. Carvajales said. "As long as you give it cubans, it continues to go."

It's terrible! (2, Informative)

Perdition (208487) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217718)

Has anyone even asked the Robot if he wants to do this act of destruction? How long will we be the faceless exploiters of our mechanical brothers? My heavens, forced to spray water from its orifices until the very ground below it dissolves!

You! Get your filthy hands off my Aibo!

With such a large inmate population... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217743)

...US should be able to accomplishe the same by covering the roads with Playboy centerfolds.

40 to 60 gallons/minute (1)

sn00ker (172521) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217756)

Damn that's a lot of water.
I could see this thing being used for stuff like bomb disposal - Rather than shooting that suspicious package, drench it at high pressure and totally screw the electronics.
Oh, and fire fighters would be getting some kind of a hard-on at the thought of being able to use a pump that size - The pump must be able to pump huge volumes (several multiples of the delivered volume) of water if it's able to get enough pressure behind the water to break up concrete.

Manufacturer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217777)

These guys [aquajet.se] make them hydrodemolition machines.

2 workers VS 15 workers (for 15 jackhammers) (1)

jdog44 (318845) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217803)

Just before this gets out of hand, the article state that it takes 15 workers to operate 15 jackhammers.
The savings is for large-scale contiguous jackhammer work, not a 15-man crew operating ONE jackhammer as is implied.
That is all.

useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6217848)

one of those might actually be able to clean the filth that has collected on my kitchen floor

How many mathematicians.. (1)

mysterious_mark (577643) | more than 10 years ago | (#6217864)

does it take to operate a Jackhammer? A: The mathematician gives the jackhammer to three engineers, thus reducing the problem to a previously told joke.
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