Rapid Assembly Of Masonry Structures With Ad-Hoc Material Attributes, Computer Vision And Scara Robots.

Adam Fingrut The Chinese University of Hong Kong

UN Sustainable Development Goal 12 declares the need to substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling, and reuse. There is great need for the construction industry to consider its relationship to waste, material use, and the carbon footprint associated with creating new materials rather than upcycling. Bricks and masonry are robust materials that offer an opportunity for reuse in new building assemblies, such as those found in the Ningbo Museum (宁波博物馆) which opened in 2008. Simultaneously, the Construction Industry is striving to innovate (SDG9) with novel technology, smart modelling and automation for increased safety and quality of the built environment. This paper discusses the design and development of scale masonry structures using Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arms (SCARA), computer vision hardware and bespoke computational workflows. In parallel to the development of full-scale masonry solutions using a Cable Driven Parallel Robot (CDPR), a faster method for testing large numbers of brick elements is needed to verify buildability, mitigate collisions, and think differently about recycled materials during real-world construction activities. Additionally, by incorporating scanning and analysis technology, materials can be digitized, and their attributes translated into variables for placement within an intended structure. SCARA robots and computer vision is commonplace within industrial automation and are ideal for “pick and place” operations. They are also ideal for emulating brick laying activities due to their two-link arm layout which is similar human ergonomics. Explored is the development of a scaled system for testing brick structures as discrete element assemblies and seeks to answer the following research question: How may we automate the use of recycled materials of varying dimensions into future architecture? Developed in Python, the computational workflow includes integrating design data with real-time analysis tools to integrate variable material sizes. These variables are processed to appropriately place as part of an intended structural system, where individual component variables are unknown. This method establishes an order of operations and placement instruction set for further automated robotic assembly in real time. Materials within this study are deliberately randomized to illustrate the system potential and transferability into real-world contexts. This system is beneficial for quick and reliable testing of brick structures within a laboratory environment. It allows students, architects, engineers, and construction teams to visualize and verify the viability of a design system without the ability to predict material attributes. Future work will include system upgrades and integration into Cable Driven robotics in real-world construction contexts. References: Bonwetsch, Tobias. “Robotic Assembly Processes as a Driver in Architectural Design.” Nexus Network Journal 14.3 (2012): 483-94. Web.Realisation.” 2018 IEEE International Conference on Simulation, Modeling, and Programming for Autonomous Robots (SIMPAR) (2018): 166-73. Web. Fingrut, Adam, Kristof Crolla and Darwin Lau, “Automation Complexity – Brick by Brick.” in M. Haeusler, M. A. Schnabel, T. Fukuda (eds.), Intelligent & Informed – Proceedings of the 24th CAADRIA Conference – Volume 1, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand, 15-18 April 2019, pp. 93-102. Gramazio, Fabio, Matthias Kohler, and Jan Willmann. The Robotic Touch : How Robots Change Architecture. 2014. Print. G. Pritschow, M. Dalacker, J. Kurz, and M. Gaenssle, “Technological aspects in the development of a mobile bricklaying robot,” Automation in Construction, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 3–13, 1996. J. P. Sousa, P. A. Varela, and P. F. Martins, “Between manual and robotic approaches to brick construction in architecture,” in Real Time-Proceedings of the 33rd eCAADe Conference, vol. 2, 2015, pp. 361–370. R. Mora, H. Rivard, C. Bedard, Computer representation to support conceptual structural design within a building architectural context, Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering 20 (2) (2006) 76–87. Wong, Thomas Ng, and Chan. “Strategic Planning for the Sustainable Development of the Construction Industry in Hong Kong.” Habitat International 34.2 (2010): 256-63. Web. Wu, Yulong, Hung Hon Cheng, Adam Fingrut, Kristof Crolla, Yeung Yam, and Darwin Lau. “CU-brick Cable-driven Robot for Automated Construction of Complex Brick Structures: From Simulation to Hardware Zakaria Dakhli & Zoubeir Lafhaj | Sanjay Kumar Shukla (Reviewing Editor) (2017) Robotic mechanical design for brick-laying automation, Cogent Engineering, 4:1, DO

Keywords: Sdg12; Reuse; Sdg9; Automation In Construction; Masonry;Computational Design; Discrete Element Assemblies

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