The US Department of Transportation loses $100 billion each year through accidents and delays caused by highway lane closures.
Shane Farritor, a roboticist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has developed self-propelled markers that can open and close traffic lanes faster and more safely than humans.
Each fleet of robots is made up of a lead robot or “shepherd”, equipped with a GPS receiver.
A (human) operator, controls their deployment with a laptop and a special software to mark on the screen where the traffic barrels should be placed.
The software calculates the GPS coordinates of the point where the shepherd should be placed, and this is sent to the shepherd via a radio link. The shepherd takes up its position, and also tells the other markers, by radio, where to go.
Read in New Scientist