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Rebar-tying robot helps ironworkers with the County Highway AB overpass project

By: Ethan Duran//June 29, 2023//

Rebar-tying robot helps ironworkers with the County Highway AB overpass project

By: Ethan Duran//June 29, 2023//

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A rebar-tying robot named “TyBOT” helps ironworker crews construct the County Highway AB overpass bridge recently. (Photo courtesy of Advanced Construction Robotics)

The repetitive, straining task of rebar tying could now be done by a robot instead of human crews after robotics company Advance Construction Robotics (ACR) deployed “TyBOT” to help work on the Dane County Highway AB overpass project.

ACR and ironworkers from MKE Iron Erectors Inc. on Wednesday worked with the rebar-tying robot on the County Highway AB Overpass project in Dane County. This is the second job TyBOT has done after previously working on the Interstate 39 project in the south-central part of the state.

According to ACR officials, TyBOT locates, positions and ties more than 1,100 intersections in an hour.

Seeing the machine work with the ironworker crew and management was “inspiring,” Danielle Proctor, ACR president and CEO, said in a statement.

“We are excited to be on our second job working alongside MKE Iron Erectors! It is inspiring to see how quickly TyBOT integrated with their ironworker crew as well as management. We look forward to future and larger projects with Barb where the efficiencies of TyBOT (and IronBOT) can be fully realized,” Proctor added.

The emerging technology was a “win-win” for balancing efficiency and reducing safety exposure risks to ironworkers, Barb Sheedy, the owner of MKE Iron Erectors, said in a statement.

“TyBOT continued to impress us on its second Wisconsin run at the Cottage Grove AB overpass. I consider this emerging technology to be a win-win proposition balancing efficiency with increased safety benefits for our ironworkers. Looking forward I believe TyBOT and similar technologies will be necessary to help address labor shortages while allowing craftsmen to extend their careers in the field,” Sheedy added.

The County AB interchange is part of a Wisconsin Department of Transportation project to improve U.S. Highways 12 and 18 for items including crash reduction and expanding bike and pedestrian access, according to WisDOT officials.

The state transportation agency will build a diamond interchange east of the County AB intersection with a roundabout at ramp terminals; remove access along U.S. 12/18, including at Millpond Road and Long Drive except for the right turn movement going from eastbound U.S. 12/18 to Millpond Road; and construct frontage roads connecting Millpond Road and Long Drive to the realigned county roadway. The project will add a roundabout to the new county road and Millpond Road intersection, WisDOT officials added.


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