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GPS upgrades helps put robots on the road

A joint investment of $64 million aims to improve GPS accuracy to help fast-track construction works with a robot called the Tiny Surveyor.

Federal Resources and Water Minister Keith Pitt, said the Federal Government is making a $64 million national investment in upgrading GPS positioning capability in the state, improving accuracy from metres to centimetres.

In South Australia, this will significantly fast track works on the Port Wakefield Overpass and Highway Duplication process, allowing the Tiny Surveyor to complete line-marking in days instead of weeks.

“This collaborative public-private approach to establishing high-quality satellite positioning infrastructure through partnerships with the South Australian Government and industry builds on our nation’s potential,” Pitt said.

“It has real world benefits for major infrastructure upgrades, such as roads, sporting fields, airport runways and car parks, while also boosting productivity across industries such as agriculture and logistics.

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“This technology will improve positioning accuracy from 5 to 10 metres, right down to 3 to 5 centimetres in areas with mobile phone and internet coverage.”

South Australian Infrastructure Minister Corey Wingard said the tiny robots are already being put to work at the $124.5 million Port Wakefield project.

“Gruelling and tedious tasks that would take survey crews weeks to complete manually can be done with this little robot in a matter of days thanks to this ground-breaking technology,” Wingard said.

“It enables survey teams to supervise the robot’s movements in safe location away from heavy machinery and live traffic.”

Position Partners, which supports construction and geospatial businesses throughout South Australia, has provided the Tiny Surveyor on the Port Wakefield project.

“Connected to the reference station network and utilising precise positioning technology, the robot automatically completes even the most complex line-marking projects in a fraction of the time it would take using traditional, manual methods,” Martin Nix, CEO of Position Partners, the Australian distributor of Tiny Surveyor, said.

Led by Geoscience Australia, the Federal Government will deliver an extra 57 reference stations nationally as part of its 700-plus strong reference station network, partnering with industry and state governments.

Preliminary works for the expansion and upgrade of the reference station network in South Australia are advancing, with Geoscience Australia anticipating completion by June 2022, and the national project to be completed by June 2023.

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