Robotic Construction with Found Materials

Robotic Construction with Found Materials develops robotic fabrication technologies for large-scale on-site construction using found material. Therefore, our aim is to develop design, planning and control tools that are aware of the environment using haptic and spatial perception and can thus enable robots to handle only partially known or even unknown environments. To this end, the terrain and objects will be perceived and modelled online, whereby the model is completed through combining visual and haptic perception. As enabling technology for this process, we robotify an excavator system and provide it with precise position and force controllability. Thanks to compliant control algorithms paired with accurate localisation and environment perception, the proposed solution will enable the robot to cope with large uncertainties.

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 research enables construction in harsh or human-inaccessible environments. With the incredible strength and mobility of the robotic excavator paired with sophisticated perception, modelling, planning and control, this project provides solutions to overcome human limitations in machine operation to achieve unseen design and precision for the architecture community.

Principal Investigators: Prof. Dr. Roland SiegwartProf. Dr. Marco HutterProf. Fabio GramazioProf. Matthias KohlerProf. Dr. Philippe Block

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

Extended Collaborators: Dr. Ammar Mirjan

External Collaborators: Philipp Leemann, Gabriel Hottiger


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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