Perth-based crane robotics company, Roborigger, has secured $5 million in funding from VC firm, Blackbird Ventures. Founded by structural engineer and serial entrepreneur, Derick Markwell, Roborigger is a remote-controlled stabilisation system which eliminates the need for workers at the bottom of crane loads.

It can remotely orientate the loads and keep them stable in wind speeds up to 15 knots. Cranes would usually need to be shut down in wind speeds over 12 knots.

Roborigger, which has previously received funding from Multiplex for the system, has manufactured 18 units so far and has been used successfully on several sites including the Adelaide casino, a Fortescue mine in the Pilbara and a demolition site in George St, Sydney.

It works by attaching to the crane and then having the loads suspended underneath. It comes in models capable of carrying up to 20 tonnes with a 30-tonne model in production.

Why we should care..

Crane incidents currently account for three deaths a year in Australia. The increased stabilisation of the loads reduces risk of crane collapse as well as removes the need for workers near the crane to eliminate crushing hazards.

In addition to safety benefits, the system is less labour intensive, more accurate and can operate in winds which allows increased site productivity. Roborigger founder, Derick Markwell said that it is so accurate that during the central Sydney project only one lane of traffic needed to be closed instead of the usual two or three.