Autonomous Multi-material Construction with a Heterogeneous Robot Team

  • Maira SaboiaEmail author
  • Vivek Thangavelu
  • Nils Napp
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Advanced Robotics book series (SPAR, volume 9)


We present a team of heterogeneous robots, with different construction capabilities, that can build motion support structures over highly irregular, unstructured terrain. Building steps are computed reactively so that they can respond to changes in the environment and imperfect assembly. The reactive approach allows multiple robots to coordinate and add material to the same structure. Each robotic agent uses an abstract model of the environment to compute a set of legal construction steps based on its current knowledge of the world, and we show that in this setting more knowledge results in more legal moves. We exploit this capability by letting the system use a variety of materials and choose the most appropriate material given its current knowledge of the state of the structure. We demonstrate the approach by running the system on a variety of terrains and with a variety of material choices, including both deformable and rigid components.


Autonomous construction Multi-material Partial functions Local sensing 



We would like to thank Prof. Petersen for her helpful feedback, and Walker Gosrich for helping with the development of the robots. We are also grateful for the Science Without Borders Program (CAPES) for supporting Maira Saboia and the support of the SMART Community of Excellence at the University at Buffalo.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University at BuffaloBuffaloUSA

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