Rob the Builder

Robots are changing the way we work – but not only in traditional industries such as the automotive, machine tool or plastics industries. For the “Bundengartenschau 2019”, two KUKA robots produced innovative components in lightweight wood construction and were active in a field which is still relatively little automated: the construction industry. However, the master builders were not the only exception in this sector.

Highest precision

A sea urchin made of wood, manufactured by a robot: For the “Bundesgartenschau 2019” in the German town of Schwäbisch-Gmünd, robots from the KR FORTEC series milled building boards from 50 millimeter thick beech panels. The result was a pavilion based on the skeleton of a sea urchin.

Thanks to the precise cuts made by the two KR 500 FORTEC robots, the innovative lightweight wooden components fit perfectly into one another – a major step towards greater automation in the timber construction industry.

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Building as printed

Without a break, but always with constant power, a 3D printer produced a complete house in the French city of Nantes in 2018. In just 54 hours, five rooms on 95 square meters were created in the single-story building without any human intervention. Only the roof and the windows still had to be installed by craftsmen.

In addition to the significantly shorter construction time than with conventional construction methods, this method also saved budget: According to their own statements, the entire house cost only 195,000 euros.

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Brick on brick

With an endurance that marathon runners can only dream of, the Australian robot “Hadrian X” lays brick upon brick. And it does so extremely quickly: it is said to manage 1,000 bricks in one hour. So you can literally watch the house grow.

A conveyor belt inside the automated construction assistant takes the bricks to its 30-meter-long arm. Instead of spreading mortar between the individual bricks, the robot uses glue and then lays the individual parts evenly and precisely next to and on top of each other.

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Strong little guy

He grabs a drywall, runs with it to the frame provided for it, inserts it and drills the holes. Holds. Already the next wall follows. The Japanese robot HRP-5P is modelled on humans, has one head, two arms, two legs – and works with a multiple of power and precision.

Thanks to its cameras and sensors, the powerful little guy can even mount shelves – the only thing that remains is for the human being to choose the decoration.

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Fibrous affair

Building with swarm intelligence: The 16 fiberbots of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology imitate insects such as bees, ants or spiders. They work together on high-tech fibers to build structures. Using hoses, the Fiberbots pull resin-soaked threads from a container, wrap them around their arm and let the resin dry out with an integrated UV lamp.

Gradually, resistant sculptures are created from up to 4.5-meter-high fiber tubes, which could theoretically also be used for construction projects. Speaking of fibers: A KR210 R3100 QUANTEC from KUKA has also been involved in a pavilion made of glass and carbon fibers for the “Bundesgartenschau 2019”.

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