HyperTunnel – a start-up with an innovative idea for tunnel construction

  • The British start-up has come up with a completely new technology for building tunnels
  • The idea was appreciated and rewarded in an international competition
  • Thanks to European and corporate sector grants, further research into the development of the innovative HyperTunnel technology will be carried out

HyperTunnel’s new approach to tunnel building and underground systems are faster, safer, cheaper and more durable than current techniques. At least that’s what its creators say. The unique combination of proven technologies brings together best practices from industries as diverse as open pit mining, trenchless engineering and 3D printing.


We are pleased that international players in the construction market see the great potential of the technologies we develop and share our passion for improving the way the world works. We are excited to see what we can accomplish together in the months to come. – underlined Jeremy Hammond, co-founder of HyperTunnel.

The idea appreciated by international experts

HyperTunnel – is the winner of the international start-up competition organized by CEMEX Ventures, Ferrovial, Hilti, Leonard Group VINCI and NOVA by Saint-Gobain. British project assumed the use of a combination of horizontal directional drilling (HDD), artificial intelligence and 3D printing like a new way tunnel building.
The start-up has received funding from the French construction group Vinci, as part of a support program for new, innovative construction solutions and intends to use them for the development of technology Hive robotics“.

What is innovation?

The innovative method proposed by HyperTunel is based on the tunnel lining is injected into the groundthen remove the material inside with swarm of small autonomous robotic vehicles.

The HyperTunnel method uses a horizontal directional drilling rig to install a network of HDPE pipes providing access to the full length of the tunnel so that a swarm of multifunctional robots can 3D print the tunnel.  Photo HyperTunnel


The HyperTunnel method uses horizontal directional drill be installed HDPE pipe networksprovide access to the full length of the tunnel so that swarm of multifunctional robots could print the tunnel in 3D.

Swarms of hyperbots are sent to each opening to build the tunnel’s structural envelope, implementing an additive manufacturing process that uses the same principle as 3D printing.

Step by step

The tunnel digging process developed by the start-up involves 4 major construction stages:

Preparation
• Patented techniques geological research to make easy visualization of interfaces and geological obstacles
• Creation Double digital supporting technology Virtual reality (VR) I Creation of information representation systems (BIM)

To build
Structure assessment and validation using complementary inspection techniques
Tunnel construction with the use artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics swarm

Excavation
• Safe excavation by remote workers
• Simple recycling of cuttings without treatment
• The possibility of applying a layer at the same time shotcrete (LCS)

Finish
• Custom liner based on end use
• Improved lifecycle management through IOT monitoring and predictive maintenance

HyperTunnel technology can truly revolutionize the industry when it comes to improving the safety and sustainability of underground construction projects said Guillaume Bazouin, head of start-up and intrapreneur programs at Leonard Vinci. By supporting the project, we are pursuing our goals of rapidly responding to the climate crisis by enabling technological advancements with a significant impact on the environment. – added.

Last week, the European Innovation Council awarded HyperTunnel a €1.88 million grant as part of its accelerator program. The funds will be used to complete the development of the HyperTunnel underground robotic platform.

Read also: The longest tunnel – the final coating is created

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