Publications / 2022 Proceedings of the 39th ISARC, Bogotá, Colombia

Insights into automation of construction process using parallel-kinematic manipulators

Maike Klöckner, Mathias Haage, Helena Eriksson, Henrik Malm, Klas Nilsson, Anders Robertsson and Ronny Andersson
Pages 25-32 (2022 Proceedings of the 39th ISARC, Bogotá, Colombia, ISBN 978-952-69524-2-0, ISSN 2413-5844)

This paper discusses challenges, experiences and lessons learned so far while transforming a masonry build system based mostly on manual labour into a robot automated build system. Our motivation for selection of this masonry process is to try out how robot automation could impact the architects in their design work by providing a tool to directly manipulate wall expression down to individual brick level. Such manipulation is often much too costly for manual labour today. Moreover, masonry is a challenging application to automate. Understanding the manual processes involved and transforming them into automation equivalents faces several challenges; among them handling and distribution of the different materials involved, selection of tooling, sensing for handling of variation and digital tooling for the programming of the process. A novel parallel-kinematic manipulator (PKM) with computerized numerical control (CNC) is used as target for experiments, because the performance properties in stiffness, workspace and accuracy will allow us to extend work into further construction processes involving heavy and dirty manual labour.

Keywords: Construction robotics; Parallel-kinematic manipulator; Masonry; Concrete build system