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Development of a Multifunctional Facade and Exterior Finishing Robot for The Construction Industry Council (CIC) in Hong Kong


 

Overview

The Hong Kong Public Housing Construction (PHC) sector experiences three major challenges: first, to satisfy the increasing demand; second, to achieve affordable prices, and third, to address demographic changes. In recent years, the manufacturing sector has adopted robotic and automation technology. The implementation of construction robotics and automation may hold the key to solve the aforementioned challenges. The Construction Industry Council in Hong Kong (CIC) commissioned the Chair of Building Realization and Robotics (br2) at Technical University of Munich to research and develop construction robots and automation strategies that are tailor-made for the PHC in Hong Kong. The consultancy project was started at the beginning of 2017; now br2 research team has successfully accomplished the first phase project.

During the first project phase, a Multifunctional Façade and exterior Finishing Robot was commissioned by CIC, developed by the br2 team at TUM.

Description of the proposed system

The proposed Multifunctional Façade and Exterior Finishing Robot is based on a suspended platform system which is commonly known as the gondola and widely used in the Hong Kong construction industry for various façade tasks. The robot is tailor-made for the Hong Kong PHC sector and capable of handling the unique local circumstances.

The main features of the robot:

The proposed main functions of the robot are:

  • Exterior painting
  • Concrete wall grinding
  • Water tightness inspection

Please see the image below for more potential applications of the system iteration cycle.

Through the addition of various sensors, the ultimate goal is to achieve a fully automated façade processing robot system, so that the robot can be easily started and operated by no more than one worker.

 

Benefits of the proposed system

  • Upskill construction labour
  • Retain high quality of work
  • Improve traditional image of the construction industry
  • Potentially reduce occupational injury rate and downtime costs

The core competences of the br2 R&D team: (Chair for Building Realisation and Robotics led by Prof. Thomas Bock who is well connected with the extensive resources of comprehensive and experienced technical solution providers internationally)

  • Prof. Thomas Bock has more than 35 years of construction robotic R&D and application experience
  • Wide and well-connected relations and resources in related industries worldwide
  • Outstanding academic knowledge and technical expertise
  • Exceptional leadership in EU and national research projects

Proven achievements: (Successfully accomplished the first phase Hong Kong CIC project)

  • Rigorous development
  • High quality of project delivery
  • Established satisfactory collaborative relationships
  • Extensive R&D experiences

1:2 mock-up of the Multifunctional Façade and Exterior Finishing Robot1:2 mock-up of the Multifunctional Façade and Exterior Finishing Robot

 

The1:2 scale mock-up is currently being featured at the Construction Innovation and Technology Application Centre (CITAC) in Hong Kong since the 22nd of November 2018.

 

The inventors are:

Prof. Thomas Bock

Dr.-Ing. Thomas Linner

M.Sc. Wen Pan

M.Arch. Rongbo Hu