See how a tiny robot has got Blackpool's newest football pitches ready for kick-off

The new sports pitches at the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone are set to get used for the first time, thanks to work done by a little robot.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 12:30 pm

The pitches created off Common Edge Road have been now been marked out, not by a groundsman pushing a white line marking machine, but automatically, by a robot controlled using a tablet and GPS technology.

The sports facilities, which are part of a £5m investment to upgrade sports in Blackpool, will be used for the first time this Saturday by Spirit of Youth FC.

New changing rooms are set to follow, plus a 3G sports pitch, a rugby pitch and a rugby training area as well as 12 football pitches and a 194-space car park, all poart of teh over-arching redevelopment of the enterprise zone.

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It's a corner! The robot used to mark out the pitches off Common Edge Road

The battery-powered robot can mark out two to three fields on one drum of paint and allows the owner to calculate exactly how much is needed, so there is no wastage.

The work has been carried out by Lancashire-based Richard Peel Groundcare with the robot supplied by Rigby Taylor.

Coun Kath Benson, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement, Aspirations and Community Assets said, “We are delighted to see the brand new pitches at Common Edge Playing Fields being marked out ready for the first training sessions, and seeing first-hand how cutting edge technology is used to control a robot by GPS was fascinating.

"Everyone is excited to get down and try out the new pitches, which are looking top class and really inviting!

Spirit of Youth FC will be the first to officially use the new football field

“The opening of the new sports pitches marks the start of a new generation of quality sports and leisure facilities for local, grass roots sporting clubs and the surrounding South Shore community.

"Having quality pitches at Common Edge will enable Blackpool to attract and host higher profile tournaments in the future, such as the Blackpool Cup which is planned for spring 2022.

"Creating new sports pitches also helps to unlock development land and commercial opportunities at Blackpool Enterprise Zone, which is needed to help growing local businesses, attract investment and create skilled, long term employment for the people of Blackpool.”

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The robot uses GPS satellite technology to draw out accurate pitches
It is controlled by an operator using a computer tablet