The construction sector is one of the largest in the global economy. However, it is one of the slowest to start the path towards automation and digitization and, therefore, the integration of robotics in construction has been late compared to other sectors. This is due to multiple factors such as the cost of labor or the lack of planning in the processes.

Robotnik develops and manufactures AMRs that facilitate automation and the potential of construction robots give the ultimate push towards Industry 4.0.

Autonomous mobile robotics offers multiple benefits and construction robotics are already integrated in several areas: architecture, masonry, demolition, infrastructure… Some of the tasks that demand more AMR is safety and inspection, which uses technology to review and detect possible errors in real time and send the information to the system so that it can be corrected as soon as possible.

Increased accuracy, significantly increased productivity, reduced errors, meeting deadlines, reduced number of accidents and reduced costs are just some of the improvements that robotics brings to the construction industry.

Robotnik is currently working on several R&D projects whose objectives and efforts are aimed at boosting construction through mobile robotics and other cutting-edge technologies, testing real-world applications.

Types of construction robots

These are some applications of robotics in the construction industry for which Robotnik robots are used:

  • Prediction of required tasks.
  • Evaluation of the progress of a project.
  • Early detection of possible errors.
  • Automation of dangerous tasks for the operators.
  • Surveillance and inspection tasks.

R&D for robots in the construction industry

Since 2002, Robotnik has participated in more than 60 research projects, most of them at European level. Currently, some 30 projects of different nature are underway: some with logistics-oriented objectives, others in the health sector or construction, among others. This makes it possible to use intelligent, autonomous and collaborative mobile robots. And so that, the creation of more efficient industrial processes with a better use of resources, which translates into higher productivity in general.

Examples of construction robotics R&D projects in which Robotnik participates

HERON: Enhanced robotic platform for performing road maintenance and improvement works.

The objective is to develop an automated and integrated system to perform road maintenance and improvement tasks such as crack sealing, pothole patching, asphalt rejuvenation, autonomous replacement of CUD elements or marking painting.

It also provides pre- and post-intervention support, including visual inspections and automated and controlled dispensing and removal of traffic cones.

Within the project, Robotnik will design and develop an intelligent unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) capable of performing the necessary inspection and maintenance actions and will make the necessary adaptations to the robotic vehicle, not only those related to road maintenance capabilities with a collaborative arm and different equipment, but also those concerning the integration of other ΗΕRΟΝ developments into the prototype (sensor integration, UAV transport system, etc.).

PILOTING: Robotic solutions for pilots in refineries, bridges/viaducts and tunnels.

The current European refineries and civil infrastructures, such as tunnels and bridges, are undergoing a logical aging process that leads to their gradual deterioration.

PILOTING will set up large scale pilots in real industrial environments to respond directly to the main inspection and maintenance challenges. These demos are focused on improving coverage and enhance, decreasing cost and time of operations, improving inspection quality and increasing operator safety.

Robotnik is responsible for the development of the ground robotic platforms to be used in the refinery and tunneling use cases with the RISING mobile manipulator and the RB-CAR autonomous mobile robot.

inspection robot

BIMPROVE is another case of application of robotics in the construction industry. This H2020 project aims to help European industry embark on the digital transformation, leveraging Digital Twin technology to move construction sites towards Industry 4.0.

Robotnik is responsible for the development of a pioneering new autonomous mobile robot based on the SUMMIT-XL to collect indoor and outdoor environmental information on construction sites. This information will be fed into the BIMsync tool, where it will be processed and transformed into useful decision-making information.
In this way, Robotnik will develop the ground data acquisition system (route planning, localisation and positioning, safety aspects and human-machine interaction).