Robotic Construction with Found Materials

Robotic Construction with Found Materials develops technologies for large-scale on-site construction. Combining computational architectural design and in-situ robotic fabrication with the ability to perceive and manipulate heterogeneous building members without prior knowledge of shape or composition allows for extending the potentials of autonomous construction into landscape architecture. The aim of the project is to develop planning and control tools that are aware of the environment, and can thus handle only partially known or even unknown environments. The terrain and objects will be perceived and modelled online through visual and haptic feedback. As enabling technology for this process, an excavator system is robotised and provided with precise position and force controllability. Thanks to compliant control algorithms paired with accurate localisation and environment perception, the proposed solution will be able to deal with the large uncertainties imposed by the environment.

The tools and methods developed in this collaboration project will provide a variety of new possibilities for architectural design and permit constructions with non-standardised elements in landscaping. Additionally, this resulting innovations will enable construction in harsh or human-inaccessible environments and will make the digital fabrication of large-scale structures possible.

Main Collaborators: Fadri Furrer, Dominic Jud, Martin Wermelinger, Ilmar Hurkxkens

Extended Collaborators: Ursula Frick, Dr. Ammar Mirjan

Extended Collaborators: Philipp Leemann


Autonomous Systems Lab. 2016. “Autonomous Robotic Stone Stacking with Online next Best Object Target Pose Planning.” You-

Bellicoso, C. Dario, Christian Gehring, Jemin Hwangbo, and Marco Hutter. 2016. “Perception-less Terrain Adaptation through Whole
Body Control and Hierarchical Optimisation.” In IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids).

SBodie, Karen, C. Dario Bellicoso, and Marco Hutter. 2016. “ANYpulator: Design and Control of a Safe Robotic Arm.” Presentation at
IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Daejeon, Korea, 9–14 October.

Furrer, Fadri*, Martin Wermelinger*, Hironori Yoshida*, Fabio Gramazio, Matthias Kohler, Roland Siegwart, and Marco Hutter. 2017.“Autonomous Robotic Stone Stacking with Online Next Best Object Target Pose Planning.”Paper submitted to the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Singapore, 29 May to June 3. Submitted. equally contributed.

Hutter, Marco, Philipp Leemann, Gabriel Hottiger, Ruedi Figi, Stefan Tagmann, Gonzalo Rey, and George Small. 2016. “Force Control for Active Chassis Balancing.” IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics (TMECH).

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