Mobile Robotic Brickwork
This paper describes the implementation of a discrete in situ construction process using a location-aware mobile robot. An undulating dry brick wall is semi-autonomously fabricated in a laboratory environment set up to mimic a construction site. On the basis of this experiment, the following generic functionalities of the mobile robot and its developed software for mobile in situ robotic construction are presented: (1) its localization capabilities using solely on-board sensor equipment and computing, (2) its capability to assemble building components accurately in space, including the ability to align the structure with existing components on site, and (3) the adaptability of computational models to dimensional tolerances as well as to process-related uncertainties during construction. As such, this research advances additive non-standard fabrication technology and fosters new forms of flexible, adaptable and robust building strategies for the final assembly of building components directly on construction sites. While this paper highlights the challenges of the current state of research and experimentation, it also provides an outlook to the implications for future robotic construction and the new possibilities the proposed approaches open up: the high-accuracy fabrication of large-scale building structures outside of structured factory settings, which could radically expand the application space of automated building construction in architecture.
KeywordsIn situ robotic construction Mobile robotic fabrication Adaptive fabrication Robot localization
This research was supported by Swiss National Science Foundation through the NCCR Digital Fabrication (NCCR Digital Fabrication Agreement #51NF40-141853) and a Professorship Award to Jonas Buchli (Agreement #PP00P2_138920). The building ma-terial was sponsored by Keller AG Ziegeleien. Special thanks also go to the lead technician of NCCR Digital Fabrication and photographer Michael Lyrenmann, as well as the project leader of IF’s predecessor dimRob, Dr. Volker Helm.
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