Cooperative Robotics in Construction Student Project (Video)

House building robots

Juanma Oyarzabal and Alvaro Amor, two computer engineering students from the University of Deusto (Bilbao, Spain) successfully designed, constructed, programmed, and completed an impressive cooperative robot “swarm” project to autonomously build modular houses based prefabricated modules.

Here's how they described their final year student project:

“The mission of this project is to design and implement a set of robots that are able to build houses based on modules made from prefabricated parts. To do this, a new way of looking at robotics is used in which each robot does not work in isolation focusing on a single task or a very small group of tasks, but instead they all behave like a swarm, helping each other in various tasks. This new approach to the coordination of robots is called collaborative robotics.

At present, the process of building a house is somewhat tedious and lengthy and a lot of people are involved which brings about risks. These factors greatly raise the price of constructing houses, making it inaccessible to people with low incomes.

Thanks to this new way of looking at construction, costs and construction time can be reduced considerably, and it exempts the workers of the most arduous tasks so that they can focus on more rewarding tasks such as finishing facilities and monitoring that everything runs properly.

And besides, it lays the groundwork for a future technology that is expected to be used to build on Earth as well as on space stations and even in possible settlements and other satellites or planets.”

Related links:

jmoyarzabal YouTube channel

University of Deusto – Bilbao, Spain

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One comment

  1. Nice, but construction isn’t such a loosely-coupled task such that robots could *simulate collaboration* by working in an isolated sequence procedure. In fact, doing the communication that way is counterproductive by generating bottlenecks and compromising more the final result.

    I like when robotics intend to be used in such compromising tasks and areas (as collaborative robots for urban search and rescue) but there is the need for doing the job similar to reality.

    By these means, I think we’re far from seeing a swarm line-following for contructing (or even getting such precise path follow required), and moreover from lowering the costs by reducing people insurance and implementing robotics.

    Besides any cruelty I think enterprises do care more of expending high-cost machines that can be damaged, than paying for a human broken arm, which is usually less expensive than a broken robot…

    In such applications as construction, robotics may indeed be of great help but don’t quite agree on reducing the costs…

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