Co-Design Methods for Developing Distributed Cooperative Multi-Robot Systems for Construction

Research Project 19-2 (RP 19-2)

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CO-DESIGN METHODS FOR DEVELOPING DISTRIBUTED COOPERATIVE MULTI-ROBOT SYSTEMS FOR CONSTRUCTION 

There is a growing interest in distributed robotic systems for construction as their low cost, mobility, and general adaptability are promising more effective, cost efficient and sustainable construction processes and buildings. As compared to existing standards of on-site construction or off-site factories involving heavy-duty industrial machinery, distributed robotic systems involve small, often custom robots assembling building elements directly on-site. Although research on multiple robot systems dates back to the early 1980s, distributed robotic systems specifically for construction is still an emerging field that requires the collaboration of researchers within the fields of Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) as well as in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics for successful development.

Current research and existing approaches for the development of distributed robotic systems for construction are generally derived either from the robotic system or the building system, in which early-stage specificity to one of the systems informs the entire development. In both cases, this can lead to highly restricted systems resulting in a constrained design space and severely limited range of possible built structures. In the previous project phase, we investigated methods for leveraging the building material as part of the robotic kinematic system for parallel construction. We developed a system that combines actuator hardware and building material into a modular robot-material kinematic chain that can reconfigure throughout the construction process. While in the first phase essential systems parameters, as for example the 1DOF kinematics of each robot unit, were predetermined, we now aim to develop more integrated co-design methods that overcomes current limits of the system resulting from overly deterministic, early definitions of essential system parameters. In the upcoming phase of the project, the co-design approach of a distributed robotic construction project will involve the parallel development of an architectural material system, artefact design methods, mechatronic design of the robots, and task and motion planning, in which all areas continuously influence each other throughout the entire system development. As a result of the project, we will deploy a team of inexpensive, agile machines to build a three-dimensional architectural structure

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS

Prof. Dr. Metin Sitti
Physical Intelligence Department (MPI PI), Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart
Prof. Achim Menges
Institute for Computational Design and Construction (ICD), University of Stuttgart
Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Marc Toussaint
Machine Learning and Robotics Lab (IPVS-MLR), University of Stuttgart

TEAM

Nicolas Kubail Kaloudsdian (ICD)
Hyun Gyu Kim (MPI)
Samuel Leder (ICD)
Tobias Schwinn (ICD)
Valentin Noah Hartmann (IPVS-MLR)

 

PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS

  1. 2023

    1. Leder, S., & Menges, A. (2023). Introducing Agent-Based Modeling Methods for Designing Architectural Structures with Multiple Mobile Robotic Systems. In C. Gengnagel, O. Baverel, G. Betti, M. Popescu, M. R. Thomsen, & J. Wurm (Eds.), Towards Radical Regeneration (pp. 71--83). Springer International Publishing.
  2. 2022

    1. Kubail Kalousdian, N., Lochnicki, G., Hartmann, V. N., Leder, S., Oguz, O. S., Menges, A., & Toussaint, M. (2022). Learning Robotic Manipulation of Natural Materials with Variable Properties for Construction Tasks. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 1–1. https://doi.org/10.1109/LRA.2022.3159288
    2. Leder, S., Kim, H., Oguz, O. S., Kalousdian, N. K., Hartmann, V. N., Menges, A., Toussaint, M., & Sitti, M. (2022). Leveraging Building Material as Part of the In-Plane Robotic Kinematic System for Collective Construction. Advanced Science, 2201524. https://doi.org/10.1002/advs.202201524
    3. Menges, A., & Wortmann, T. (2022). Synthesising Artificial Intelligence and Physical Performance. Architectural Design, 92(3), 94–99. https://doi.org/10.1002/ad.2819
  3. 2021

    1. Schubert, I., Driess, D., Oguz, O. S., & Toussaint, M. (2021). Learning to Execute: Efficient Learning of Universal      Plan-Conditioned Policies in Robotics. NeurIPS 2021 - Neural Information Processing Systems 34.
    2. Toussaint, M., Ha, J.-S., & Oguz, O. S. (2021). Co-Optimizing Robot, Environment, and Tool Design via Joint Manipulation Planning. 2021 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 6600–6606. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICRA48506.2021.9561256
    3. Łochnicki, G., Kubail Kalousdian, N., Leder, S., Maierhofer, M., Wood, D., & Menges, A. (2021). Co-Designing Material-Robot Construction Behaviors: Teaching distributed robotic systems to leverage active bending for light-touch assembly of bamboo bundle structures. In B. Farahi, B. Bogosian, J. Scott, J. L. García del Castillo y López, K. Dörfler, J. A. Grant, S. Parascho, & V. A. A. Noel (Eds.), Realignments: Toward Critical Computation - ACADIA 2021.
  4. 2020

    1. Hartmann, V. N., Oguz, O. S., Driess, D., Toussaint, M., & Menges, A. (2020). Robust Task and Motion Planning for Long-Horizon Architectural Construction Planning. Proc. of the IEEE Int. Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS).
    2. Leder, S., Kim, H., Oguz, O. S., Hartmann, V., Toussaint, M., Menges, A., & Sitti, M. (2020). Co-Design in Architecture: A Modular Material-Robot Kinematic Construction System. 2020 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) Proceedings of Workshop on Construction and Architecture Robotics.
    3. Leder, S., Kim, H., Ozgur, O. S., Hartmann, V., Toussaint, M., Menges, A., & Sitti, M. (2020). Co-Design in Architecture: A Modular Material-Robot Kinematic Construction System. 2020 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) Proceedings of Workshop on Construction and Architecture Robotics.
    4. Melenbrink, N., Werfel, J., & Menges, A. (2020). On-site autonomous construction robots: Towards unsupervised building. Automation in Construction, 119, 103312. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.autcon.2020.103312
    5. Nguyen, S. T., Oguz, O. S., Hartmann, V. N., & Toussaint, M. (2020). Self-Supervised Learning of Scene-Graph Representations      for Robotic Sequential Manipulation Planning. Proc. of the Annual Conf. on Robot Learning (CORL).
  5. 2019

    1. Leder, S., Weber, R., Bucklin, O., Wood, D., & Menges, A. (2019). Design and prototyping of a single axis, building material integrated, distributed robotic assembly system. 2019 IEEE: 4th International Workshops on Foundations and Applications of Self* Systems (FAS*), 3rd International Workshop on Self-Organised Construction (SOCO).
    2. Leder, S., Weber, R., Wood, D., Bucklin, O., & Menges, A. (2019). Distributed Robotic Timber Construction: Designing of in-situ timber construction system with robot-material collaboration. ACADIA – Ubiquity and Autonomy Proceedings of the ACADIA Conference 2019.
    3. Yablonina, M., & Menges, A. (2019). Distributed Fabrication: Cooperative Making with Larger Groups of Smaller Machines. Architectural Design, 89(2), 62--69. https://doi.org/10.1002/ad.2413

OTHER PUBLICATIONS

  1. 2020

    1. Leder, S., Kim, H., Ozgur, O. S., Hartmann, V., Toussaint, M., Menges, A., & Sitti, M. (2020). Co-Design in Architecture: A Modular Material-Robot Kinematic Construction System. 2020 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) Proceedings of Workshop on Construction and Architecture Robotics.

DATA SETS

      

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