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Costain Robocones 'could save lives'

costain robocone 2

Costain has created a remotely controlled traffic cone designed to save lives. 

The Robocones were showcased at New Civil Engineer’s TechFest and it is claimed they could change the way roadways and works are managed. 

Instead of a worker and a truck deploying cones and having to manually arrange them into the required formation, Robocones have been designed to be deployed from vehicles and be able to form any shape or formation required remotely.

The cones are fitted with with motors, wheels, radio control gear and even a GPS tracking system. They orignated from Costain’s in-house innovation competition, aimed at creating technology that would improve lives and enhance safety. 

Costain senior software engineer William Clifford  said that safety was the main concern that led to the idea.  

“Laying out and removing cones is one of the most dangerous parts of a roadworker’s job, and Costain is focused on creating technology-based engineering solutions that will save lives and improve the conditions for road workers and customers alike,” he said. 

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Robocones come decked out in lights, and even have a disco mode


Communication between the cone and the operator is highly encrypted to prevent unauthorised users from hacking into their operating systems and altering their positions.  

The high value cones are also protected from theft. If they detect that they are moving without being given a command, they emit an alarm signal. Future prototype versions may be fitted with a GPS tracking device and even have their own CCTV cameras to help operators recover them.  

An added bonus of the alarm system is that the cones, could be used to detect traffic collisions in real time on busy motorways and help emergency services respond quickly.  

The current prototypes would not survive a vehicle collision, but future versions are being designed to be run over by cars without causing an impact on function. 

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Well done. It would be wonderful if such technological improvements could be applied to speed reduction limits designed to prevent workforce injury, such that when there is no workforce on site the speed limit could be raised to that if the appropriate carriageway without speed restrictions. I have informed my MP.

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  • Nice! The GPS will also come in useful for locating university halls of residence up and down the country

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