The Romu robot drives metal sheet piles into the ground to protect against erosion.
One way to prevent erosion or create a retaining wall is by driving interlocking plates called sheet piles into the ground. To automate the labor-intensive process, a team from Harvard’s Wyss University created the Romu, a wheeled robot able to follow a designated path and drive the sheet piles into the ground. The Romu leverages the metal sheets into the ground using its body weight and a vibrating, electric hammer, raising and lowering itself to push the pile deeper. The Romu will install the piles to create an interlocking wall much faster and with less labor than traditional methods.