Skanska trials high-reach site robots

Aaron Morby 2 weeks ago
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Contractor Skanska has been working with a consortium of leading technology firms to develop a prototype robot that carries out working at height tasks on sites.

The robotic platform with a heavy-duty telescopic arm can reach up to 4m and has been drilling and fitting high ceiling anchors on a site for the contractor.

It is designed to navigate construction sites autonomously and carry out specific tasks with improved productivity, quality and safety.

Skanska UK’s Head of Innovation, Vaibhav Tyagi said: “Advancing the use of robotics in construction has the potential to deliver huge benefits, both in terms of safety and productivity.

“By automating tasks that are repetitive or present some degree of risk, such as working at height, we can protect our people, while improving the accuracy, speed and quality of the task.”

The Collaborative On-Site Construction Robot (COSCR) platform comprises a robust mobile base and site sensing technology that links to BIM software systems enabling it to navigate safely and accurately around a construction site.

The platform is tracked and features a telescopic mast fitted with a robotic arm, enabling it to reach heights of up to 4.2m.

The machine has been developed as an Innovate UK funded project. It has brought together factory automation and robotics expertise from HAL Robotics, ABB and InnoTecUK, together with project management expertise from BRE, site access and productisation experience from Skyjack and construction insight from Skanska.

COSCR can be operated manually or autonomously. In manual mode, an operator uses a controller to move the robot around the site.

In autonomous mode, the robot uses onboard sensors, as well as maps derived directly from BIM data, to navigate itself safely around the site and perform scheduled tasks.

Sebastian Andraos, director of HAL Robotics, the lead party in the consortium, said: “We firmly believe that COSCR platforms, and others like it, have a place on construction sites in the near future and have worked to ensure we understand the standards that must be met to allow that to happen.”

 

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