Research Infrastructure

EXC 2120 IntCDC



An effective research infrastructure is of crucial importance for the success of the cluster. A central structural goal is, therefore, the creation of an internationally unique and interdisciplinary Large-Scale Construction Robotics Laboratory (LCRL). Within the upcoming five years, this laboratory will be set up on the campus in Vaihingen. Meanwhile an interim laboratory and construction site has started its operation in the near vicinity of the University. The LCRL is to become a central research platform that addresses the three key objectives of the cluster: research into integrative and digital planning and engineering methods, the development of novel processes for cyber-physical prefabrication and on-site robotic construction, and the associated emergence of intelligent and sustainable building systems. In line with this objective, we will set-up joint instrumentation platforms that synthesize the requirements and developments of our research.


Instrumentation Platform for Off-Site Prefabrication of Fiber Elements

This platform provides the infrastructure for coreless filament winding of long-span building elements with multiple robots, collaborating on the same work piece and in the same workspace. We are designing this platform as a modular component based system, in which production units can be reallocated to different locations and tools can be easily interchanged between different fabrication platforms.


Instrumentation Platform for Off- & On-Site Fabrication of Timber Elements

With this platform, we investigate the prototypical and functional development of a modular cyber-physical prefabrication platform for timber elements of multi-storey timber housings. The platform is designed for multiple tasks, including logistics and material handling as well as additive and subtractive manufacturing processes. Overcoming traditional constraints in prefabrication, the platform will be able to execute all major manufacturing steps both offsite and onsite. We use augmented reality and computer vision technologies to integrate human co-workers and highly automated machines in a collaborative fabrication process.

Instrumentation Platform for On-Site Large Scale Robotic Construction

The main objective of this platform is twofold. On the one hand, the intention is to address the integration challenge of the clusters first research network through the development of methods and processes for on-site cyber-physical construction and element assembly of multi-story buildings. The base platform for this investigation is a tower crane, which as a large workspace serving handling system realizes automated pick up and place processes for prefabricated elements. On the other hand, the second objective is to address the performance challenge of the second research network through the development of a robotic system for on-site construction with advanced haptic perception. Here we use the example of a mini crane on caterpillar tracks, which can automatically place elements in the assembly process of long-span buildings with high positioning accuracy and utmost care, in order to guarantee for the intactness of fragile composite elements.

Instrumentation Platform for On-Site Fabrication, Fitting and Finishing

This platform focuses on lighter on-site tasks such as robotic on-site fabrication, fitting and finishing work. Tailored to these processes, we investigate methods for an effective human-machine interaction as well as for the collaborative teamwork of miniature construction robots, which have to navigating through the complex interior of a construction site.

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