California Department of Transportation
 

Automated Roadway Debris Vacuum System

 Automated Roadway Debris Vacuum System
 Automated Roadway Debris Vacuum System

The Debris Vacuum System is now available from the Clean Earth Environmental Group. Contact Todd Thiel for more information, or call 800-382-8302, or write Clean Earth Environmental Group, 200 Ladish Road, Cynthiana, KY 41031 USA.

Debris Vacuum Videos

Roadway litter removal is labor intensive, may expose workers to traffic, and costs the nation over half a billion dollars a year. To help make litter removal safer and more efficient, AHMCT has produced a litter removal system, called the "Automated Roadway Debris VACuum" or "ARDVAC" that integrates an easily-controlled, dextrous, end-effector with a commercial vacuum system. It is designed to be an add-on feature for existing, commercially-available sewer and ditch cleaning trucks, which makes rapid commercialization of this concept very likely.

Most litter can be readily collected by using a "vacuum cleaner" of sufficient size. The traditional problem has been how to position the vacuum in tight places while working from a cab. The dexterity achieved with the ARDVAC system allows easy access to roadway edges and collection of the litter that tends to blow up against fence lines, vegetation, and other objects. Using a joystick control from within a cab, an operator can quickly vacuum behind guard rails, down into depressions, and under bushes.

Implementing the ARDVAC system into a maintenance operation will allow for more regular collections of litter and greatly reduce the hazardous manual labor involved in this task.