Artificial vision systems for construction robots

Have you ever seen a robot build a home, selecting the material and placing it precisely, without any human intervention? Probably not, but this is what could happen in the next years.
For one of our clients, we developed an artificial vision system for a robot that was finally capable to autonomously build a wall. The robot can recognize the building material, estimate its location, and precisely place it in the final position.

The project is inspired by the work done by the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Digital Fabrication with the “Insitu Fabricator”.

Unlike the Insitu robot, the one developed by our customer works in an unstructured environment, and construction parts can be located anywhere in the environment. Because of that, the artificial vision system developed by Aitronik becomes a strategic component within the overall robotic system.
Of course, such a challenging project needs a multi-disciplinary approach. Whereas Aitronik was responsible for the Artificial Vision component, other partners had different strategic roles.

Since the project is covered by a Non-Disclosure Agreement, names cannot be disclosed here. However, we were so excited to participate in a team composed of researchers coming from prestigious research centers, academic spin-offs, and industrial partners.

Our client developed the big robotic arm, a monster capable of placing objects 4 meters ahead. Under its supervision, one partner designed and manufactured the special attachment to grab the construction material, and implemented the overall control system for a fine-tuned grasp.

Although the robotic builder is completely autonomous and human operators are out of the loop, safety components have been designed and implemented. One partner developed the obstacle detection and avoidance system, that was capable of intercepting any incoming person or object into the working area and immediately stop the robot accordingly.

The overall robotic builder was successfully demonstrated multiple times in private meetings between our client and potential stakeholders.

In the next future, your own house might be built by a robot. At that time, you will remember that a piece of Italian technology may be there.

Would you like to know more? Get in touch with us!

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