Mobile Robots for Enhanced Building Information Modelling

Mobile Robots for Enhanced Building Information Modelling

Year

In progress

For several decades now, the construction industry is suffering from low productivity, especially when compared to manufacturing industries which succeeded to benefit from digitalization of their processes. Furthermore, scarceness of qualified workforce is expected in the near future.
This project explores the use of mobile robots on construction sites, aiming to speed up construction work, save costs and free up human potential to be assigned to more crucial work. Robots (as the Clearpath Husky used in a project of Scaled Robotics) can collect data about the construction process that can be integrated into the construction management system, helping with progress control, defects identification, material tracking and decision making.

Building Information Modelling (BIM — represented in the LetsBuild image above) and Geographic Information System (GIS) are frameworks that collect and manage information about the construction process, and are now a necessity for such projects. An integration between BIM and GIS provides a digital representation of the built environment that robots can utilize for positioning purposes.

This project (being carried out with an industrial partner) seeks a way to autonomously navigate mobile robots in construction sites and collect data that can be integrated into the BIM and GIS. There are many challenges to be faced — for example, avoiding collisions with objects that are not defined in the BIM — but also regarding the integration between the different types of data — BIM, GIS and the 3D point cloud collected by the robot. A huge attention is also given to safety, and the safety aspects of mobile robots working along with humans is being investigated.