On July 13, Advanced Construction Robotics’ TyBOT set its all-time rebar tie record on the Rt. 29 Ward Road bridge project in Lynchburg Virginia. TyBOT completed 17,155 rebar ties throughout one shift, breaking its previous record of 16,000 ties in a single shift. 

Rebar Tying & TyBOT

Rebar reinforces concrete and strengthens foundations, walls, bridges, and other structures. Tying rebar is often left to the steel installer because the ties themselves do not add strength or structural integrity to the finished product. 

The task is repetitive and backbreaking; it involves handling heavy materials, working in awkward positions, and repeating the same hand-twisting motions over and over. All of this can lead to serious wear and tear on the body. Additionally, many bridge contractors have trouble finding enough workers to complete the job.

That’s where TyBOT comes in. TyBOT is a rebar tying robot that self-navigates, self-positions, and self-ties about 1,100 intersections per hour—day or night, rain or shine. This allows the crew to avoid the debilitating work and focus on more complex tasks. In comparison, one worker can tie an average of 150-250 ties per hour—that’s about a 450 percent increase in productivity.

Once TyBot is set up on a job site, the robot will “see” an intersection and tie it. The robot goes to work autonomously, using artificial intelligence to see, think, act, and adapt to unique job site designs.

TyBOT represents the latest class of construction equipment that works alongside existing crews to boost efficiency and safety. 

As Jeremy Searock, the cofounder of Advanced Construction Robotics, said in a statement, “We are thrilled to see TyBOT continuing to best itself in leaps and bounds. Innovating an industry is not easy but this tie count makes a real difference. We can’t wait to see what TyBOT accomplishes next.”

Record Breaking Project

As for the record-breaking project, TyBOT was used on the site alongside D.T Read Steel Co. Inc. and English Construction. The autonomous robot completed its operations on the 12,343 sq. ft. bridge in just 5 days, freeing up time and energy for the rest of the D.T. Read crew. TyBOT totaled 36,942 ties for the project, achieving an average rate of 1,106 ties per hour.  

As the General Foreman of D.T Read said in a statement, “Because TyBOT was on the job I could use my existing crew to work other critical path parts of the project. It made a real difference in our schedule and made the whole project run more smoothly.”