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Software Allows Robots to Site-Map

June 3, 2020
Trials with the mobile robot platform on a mock construction site. Credit: LIVE-STYLE Eppan
Trials with the mobile robot platform on a mock construction site. Credit: LIVE-STYLE Eppan

Researchers are working with a mobile robotic platform called Husky A200 that could be used for autonomous logistic tasks on construction sites. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Italia Innovation Engineering Center based in Bolzano, Italy, are developing software that will enable mobile robots to find their way around in construction sites. 

According to the article, the robot’s interface uses the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) file format. They serve to load digital object-oriented information to the robot. The Robot Operating System (ROS) BIM interface receives time-sensitive data, such as information about obstacles that the robot cannot detect with its sensors. This way, the robot can be alerted to things like an open cable pit or elevator shaft on pitfalls. That means the robot can constantly revise its obstacle map via the Robot Operating System. 

Designed for harsh environments, the mobile robotic platform is equipped with an electronic control unit and acceleration, laser, and inclination sensors to help it navigate rough terrain. For now, though, the robot works as a logistics sidekick in Bolzano’s NOI Techpark. It tags along with a human construction worker that activates its follow-me function. However, the mobile robot can drive itself, as the researchers were able to demonstrate in initial indoor trails.

Source: Tech Xplore

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