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Smart Robots Help Construction Crews On-Site

Sep, 2020

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The new interface helps the robot detect obstacles on the construction site to avoid hazards such as an open lift shaft.

The demand for affordable living space has increased in recent years. Developers need promising solutions to save money and time for their large and complex construction projects. However, now, a team of engineers from the Fraunhofer Italia Innovation Engineering Center (IEC) is developing software that will enable robots to assist construction workers on construction sites. IEC is determined to deliver these solutions and accelerate decision making in construction workflows. It is exploiting a technology named building information modeling (BIM) to develop Fraunhofer affiliate software interfaces and systems.

The newly developed software is based on the Husky A200, a mobile robotic platform that can be used on construction sites for autonomous logistic operations. The IEC team plans to develop such software to bridge the gap between the construction industry and robotics and to advance the cause of digitalization in the building industry. This new software will allow mobile robots to find their way around construction sites. Construction is an expensive and complex task that requires a lot of teamwork and constant customization as an empty building turns into a full building.

Mobile robots may help speed things up and reduce costs. The new interface helps the robot detect obstacles on the construction site to avoid hazards such as an open lift shaft. According to the team, this helps the robot transport tools and construction materials around the construction site. The mobile robot use inclination sensors, lasers, and control unit to navigate over rough terrain. Moreover, it has a follow-me function that can be used by a human worker when required. Currently, the mobile robot assistant is limited to indoor tests. However, the researchers aim to develop software that can be used to help builders, as well as farmers.

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