COSCR: Collaborative, On-Site Construction Robot

Lead Participant: Hal Robotics Ltd

Abstract

"Traditional construction is a low-tech but flexible manufacturing process. It is carried out 'on-site' using pre-manufactured components (windows, doors, bricks, blocks etc) and the manufacture of basic elements such as concrete, plaster etc. Whilst its flexibility has much to commend it (given the bespoke nature of buildings and their geographic distribution) it is inefficient in time and costs, and prone to skills, quality, waste and H&S issues that are more complex than in conventional factory manufacture. It also does not lend itself to efficient automation; sales of robots to construction companies is much lower than in other sectors.

**COSCR** project partners (a consortium of construction companies and robotic solution providers) are working to develop cost effective, reconfigurable robots that can be deployed throughout construction supply chains for the factory based manufacture and assembly of component parts that can then be transported to the construction site prior to installation. However, on-site construction presents additional challenges in that robots must be rugged and mobile, and readily reconfigured to new tasks, to enable them to move easily between locations and activities. They must be capable of accurate but autonomous positioning such that activities match the building design (included in a digital Building Information Model). Safety in use is essential; construction sites are dynamic environments, with human workers needing to carry out tasks, potentially in close proximity to a robot.

If these challenges can be addressed there are potentially huge benefits in terms of construction productivity and quality (e.g. potentially dangerous tasks such as drilling at height completed 4 times faster than is possible by human workers) as well as health and safety benefits. On-site robotics will also help to address ongoing skills shortages in construction whilst presenting greater opportunities for upskilling.

The COSCR project will therefore develop and assess an innovative, mobile construction platform equipped with robotic arm, that is capable of delivering a range of repetitive on-site activities in a safe, cost effective manner. The project will be led by UK SMEs **HAL Robotics** and **I****nnoTecUK** together with multinational robotics and construction equipment manufacturers **ABB** and **Skyjack**. **Skanska**, a leading international construction contractor will pilot and assess the COSCR solution in the context of real on-site construction projects to enable project partners to identify and plan the next steps needed for the development of a full commercial system. We believe that there is a huge opportunity for use in construction sectors globally."

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Hal Robotics Ltd, London £148,284 £ 103,799
 

Participant

Skanska Technology Limited, London, United Kingdom £120,668 £ 60,334
Abb Limited, WARRINGTON £42,261 £ 21,130
Building Research Establishment Limited, Watford, United Kingdom £134,154 £ 134,154
Innovative Technology and Science Limited, CAMBRIDGE £361,098 £ 252,769
Skyjack UK Limited, Oswestry £59,165 £ 29,582

Publications

10 25 50