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Chairholder holds seminar on: robot oriented design, robotic industrialization, site robotics and automation, robotic ambience at chinese University in Sha Tin on Jan. 10th 2018

Organized by Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering

The Chinese University of Hong Kong


Title            : Robot Oriented Design - Robotic Industrialization - Site Robotics and Automation - Robotic Ambience

Speaker     : Prof. Thomas Bock
                      Chair for Building Realization and Construction Robotics

                      Technical University of Munich


Date           : January 10, 2018 (Wednesday)

Time           : 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Venue        : Room 215, William M. W. Mong Engineering Building, CUHK



Automation and robotics has been regarded as one of the leading areas of innovation in construction, with regard to the improvement of the industry. Research has been conducted for decades, and new automation and robotics technologies continue to be developed for the general manufacturing industry as well as for the construction industry. In the meantime, cities, especially in the developing world, are facing unprecedented issues as a result of economy shifts, demographic change, and environmental pressures. These issues include but are not limited to population aging, labor shortage, land shortage, lack of adequate infrastructures, and environmental challenges. In the foreseeable future, automation and robotics in construction will provide a new paradigm to tackle these serious issues in the process of urban transformation.


Based on the latest developments and trends in construction automation and robotics, an innovative strategy for the improvement of urban transformation can be developed in various technological dimensions. There are five main automated and robotics technology categories which can be considered for achieving this strategy in the design, construction, and maintenance phases of urban transformation, including (1) Robot Oriented Design (2) robotic industrialization; (3) construction robots; (4) site automation; and (5) robotic ambience. Specifically, robotic industrialization usually implies the application of automation and robotics for manufacturing customized and prefabricated building components and modules. Construction robots refers to single-task construction robots which can be used for a variety of tasks ranging from welding, facade painting, interior finishing to inspection, maintenance and deconstruction. Site automation, also known as automated/robotic on-site factories, extends the new technologies of building component prefabrication and construction robots to clean, safe, quiet, and highly efficient on-site structured environments and on-site automated factories, handling construction, reconfiguration, and deconstruction. Ambient integrated robotics is the new approach for supporting people’s activities of daily living, such as living, working, playing, and rehabilitating, with integrated sensing and robotics technologies in living environments.


There is a complexity within the concept of civil transformation, which includes the design, construction, and maintenance of urban built environment  housing, office, high-rise complex, factories, public buildings and institutions, etc.), the corresponding urban infrastructures (e.g. public spaces, roads, bridges, tunnels, harbours, marine and submarine systems, solar farms, wind farms, etc.), as well as the related human activities (e.g. urban manufacturing and agriculture, logistics, activities of daily living, transportation, etc.). In all these levels of civil engineering transformation, construction automation and robotics will play a crucial role, especially in the context of aging society. As a result, in the future urban design, construction, and maintenance processes, the application of construction industrialization and robotics will create a promising opportunity to achieve not only cleaner construction sites, improved construction quality, increased construction efficiency, and reduced amount of construction wastes in the urban context, but also social justice and well-being of all members of society.



Thomas Bock is a professor of building realization and robotics at Technische Universität München (TUM). He got his education in architecture at Stuttgart University in Germany, in engineering at IIT in Chicago in USA as Fulbright Scholar and in construction automation and robotics at University of Tokyo in Japan. He spent 10 years abroad mostly in EU, USA and Japan. He holds an US FAA commercial pilot license with IFR and MEL ratings. Professionally he worked in the prefabrication industry for precast concrete elements in Germany and Iran, designed and built in Germany, Spain and Costa Rica. Academically he focuses since 35 years on automation and robotics in building construction, from the planning, prefabrication, on site production and utilization phases to the reorganization and deconstruction of a building. He started the national French commission “robotique en BTP” in 1989 as “poste rouge” employee at CNRS, was involved in the development of 50+ robotic systems for stationary production of modules made in concrete-masonry- timber- steel, on site robotic systems, automated construction and deconstruction sites and mechatronic building subsystems for daily life/work support. He is a member of several boards of directors of international associations and is a member of several international academies in Europe, Americas and Asia. He consulted several international ministries and evaluates research projects for various international funding institutions. He holds honorary doctor and professorship degrees and visiting professorships. Professor Bock serves on several editorial boards, heads various working commission and groups of international research organizations, authored and co-authored 450 articles and the recent 5 volume Construction Robotics handbook series at Cambridge University Press.


*****  ALL ARE WELCOME  ***** 



Enquiries: Ms. Winnie Wong, Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering, CUHK at 3943 8337.