Cyber-Physical On-Site Construction Processes using a Spider Crane Robotic Platform

Research Project 16-2 (RP 16-2)

Weiße Schrift


We will focus on robotic assembly of form-fit timber building systems developed in IntCDC, such as the FIT pavilion or the multi-story building system of RP-3, which can be used to add floors onto existing buildings thanks to their light weight. By automating time-consuming tasks using our spider crane cyber-physical construction platform, we hope to counteract the shortage of skilled workers and increase construction speed. This robotic system must be able to coordinate its own movements on site to pick up and assemble a variety of building components. We will thus develop an absolute tracking and positioning system that uses the camera modules of the image-assisted total stations (IATSs) and image-processing techniques. It will automatically recognize the target building component and constantly estimate its position and orientation without prisms or other markers. We will use this high-quality visual pose-estimation system to investigate processes ranging from smart teleoperation to fully autonomous control, including haptic feedback, automation of time-consuming tasks, force control, trajectory generation in contact situations, and machine-machine collaboration. High contact forces can damage the manipulator and the manipulated object; therefore, we will characterize the possible contact situations and develop an accurate real-time haptic perception system based on data of teleoperated assembly of form-fit timber parts. For increased safety and efficiency, our smart teleoperation system will enable the operator to feel steady-state interaction forces and/or torques as well as digital guidance toward the desired component pose. It will also let the operator record brief actions that can then be autonomously repeated through task-parameterized movement learning. During autonomous assembly, the pose data from the IATSs and the predicted interaction forces will be used to generate trajectories and parameterize the controller according to the different interaction situations. Then, we will study collaborative assembly between the tower crane and the spider crane. This configuration beneficially combines the high payload capacity of the tower crane and the positioning accuracy of the spider crane. To close the loop from automated fabrication to automated assembly, we will also work on pick-up strategies from an autonomous mobile robot (AMR) that transports the components from the prefabrication platform to the construction site.


Dr. Katherine J. Kuchenbecker
Haptic Intelligence Department (MPI HI), Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Oliver Sawodny
Institute for System Dynamics (ISYS), University of Stuttgart
Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Volker Schwieger
Institute of Engineering Geodesy (IIGS), University of Stuttgart


Dr. Bernard Javot (MPI)
Dr.-Ing. Gabriel Kerekes (IIGS)
Yijie Gong (MPI)
Anja Lauer (ISYS)
Lyudmila Gorokhova (IIGS)
Mayumi Mohan (MPI)
Naomi Tashiro (MPI)
Martin Rupp (ISYS)
Philipp Arnold (ISYS)



  1. 2023

    1. Lauer, A. P. R., Lerke, O., Blagojevic, B., Schwieger, V., & Sawodny, O. (2023). Tool Center Point Control of a Large-Scale Manipulator Using Absolute Position Feedback. Control Engineering Practice.
    2. Lauer, A. P. R., Lerke, O., Gienger, A., Schwieger, V., & Sawodny, O. (2023). State Estimation with Static Displacement Compensation for Large-Scale Manipulators. SII Atlanta.
    3. Lauer, A. P. R., Schürmann, T., Gienger, A., & Sawodny, O. (2023). Force-Controlled On-Site Assembly using Pose-Dependent Stiffness of Large-Scale Manipulators. Proceedings of the 2023 IEEE 19th International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE).
    4. Müller, B., Densborn, S., Kübel, J., & Sawodny, O. (2023). Smooth Path Planning for Redundant Large-Scale Robots using Measured Reference Points. Proceedings of The 22nd World Congress of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC).
  2. 2022

    1. Burns, R. B., Lee, H., Seifi, H., Faulkner, R., & Kuchenbecker, K. J. (2022). Endowing a NAO Robot With Practical Social-Touch Perception. Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 9.
    2. Oberdorfer, M., & Sawodny, O. (2022). Modeling and flatness based feedforward control of a hydraulic axial piston pump. Proceedings of the 2022 IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics (AIM).
    3. Parlapanis, C., Müller, D., Frontull, M., & Sawodny, O. (2022). Modeling of the Work Functionality of a Hydraulically Actuated Telescopic Handler. IFAC-PapersOnLine, 55(20), Article 20.
    4. Parlapanis, C., Müller, D., Frontull, M., & Sawodny, O. (2022). Modeling the Driving Dynamics of a Hydraulic Construction Vehicle. Proceedings of the 9th IFAC Symposium on Mechatronic Systems (Mechatronics 2022).
  3. 2021

    1. Abdlkarim, D., Ortenzi, V., Pardi, T., Filipovica, M., Wing, A., Kuchenbecker, K., & Di Luca, M. (2021). PrendoSim: Proxy-Hand-Based Robot Grasp Generator. Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics - ICINCO, 60–68.
    2. Abdlkarim., D., Ortenzi., V., Pardi., T., Filipovica., M., Wing., A. M., Kuchenbecker., K. J., & Di Luca., M. (2021). PrendoSim: Proxy-Hand-Based Robot Grasp Generator. Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics - ICINCO, 60–68.
    3. Lauer, A. P. R., Blagojevic, B., Lerke, O., Schwieger, V., & Sawodny, O. (2021). Flexible Multibody System Model of a Spider Crane with two Extendable Booms. Proceedings of the 47th Annual Conference on the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society (IECON).
    4. Lerke, O., & Schwieger, V. (2021). Analysis of a kinematic real-time robotic total station network for robot control. Journal of Applied Geodesy, 15(3), Article 3.
    5. Oei, M., & Sawodny, O. (2021). Attitude estimation for ground vehicles using low-cost sensors with in-vehicle calibration.
    6. Rupp, M. T. M., Valder, R., Knoll, C., & Sawodny, O. (2021). Cascaded Time Delay Compensation and Sensor Data Fusion for Visual Servoing.
  4. 2019

    1. Schwieger, V., Menges, A., Zhang, L., & Schwinn, T. (2019). Engineering Geodesy for Integrative Computational Design and Construction. Zeitschrift Für Geodäsie, Geoinformation Und Landmanagement (ZfV), 144(4), Article 4.


  1. 2022

    1. Schwieger, V., Zhang, L., Lerke, O., & Balangé, L. (2022). The Research Cluster Integrative Computational Design and Construction (IntCDC) – Current Engineering Geodetic Contribution. XXVII FIG Congress 2022, Warsaw, Poland.


  1. 2022

    1. Burns, R. B., Lee, H., Seifi, H., Faulkner, R., & Kuchenbecker, K. J. (2022). Sensor Patterns Dataset for Endowing a NAO Robot with Practical Social-Touch Perception. Edmond.


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