A prototype mobile platform designed for flexible task execution in the construction and manufacturing industries
Construction accounts for a huge amount of the UK GDP. Using complex supply chains substantial assets (houses, commercial/public buildings, infrastructure) are constructed via component manufacture, off-site pre-assembly and on-site finishing.
Whilst the size of the construction industry suggests that there should be many opportunities for the use of robotics, uptake has been slow due to often bespoke projects, complex supply chains and fluctuating demand leading to a risk-averse approach to investment.
Construction has not shown the productivity improvements seen in other sectors, despite the efforts of many to devise smarter solutions to tackle the loop holes in the sector, which involve the use of robots.
The CAMERA project partners however identified that to achieve substantial productivity savings, it is essential that the robots used in the construction sector can be easily moved between task locations in dynamic environments where humans are also present and easily adapted to new tasks without the need for skilled systems configuration personnel, recognising new locations relative to activities being carried out.
The main project output is a Proof-of-Concept (POC) demonstrator for a semi-autonomous mobile platform and associated positioning capabilities that can be integrated with existing RAS to create a mobile robot for use in construction product manufacture (and small lot manufacturing processes). Business models will support subsequent investment needed to produce a full commercial system.
Current state of the art in the application of robotic technology for construction and small lot manufacturing shows that, whilst single processes can be automated, existing systems do not deliver the flexibility & reconfigurability needed to generate overall productivity improvements in a cost-effective manner.
- Create export opportunities for UK SME companies providing robotics and digital data management solutions in the large global market as well as product manufacturers deploying these solutions.
- Address major skills shortages in construction, whilst improving H&S standards.
- Improve build quality and via BIM integration, reduce waste and environmental impact through integrated life cycle thinking and better planning.
News and Updates
- Successful demonstration of the CAMERA Project in London. Watch the full video below:
CAMERA is a result of a research project co-funded by the Innovate UK no. 102902.