TECH OFFER

Autonomous Robotic Precision Installation of Tiles and Panels

KEY INFORMATION

TECHNOLOGY CATEGORY:
Electronics - Sensors & Instrumentation
Manufacturing - Assembly, Automation & Robotics
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TECHNOLOGY READINESS LEVEL (TRL):
LOCATION:
Singapore
ID NUMBER:
TO174100

TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW

In manufacturing and building construction, the installation of elements in a particular arrangement for covering a surface (that is much larger than the elements) is usually done in a repetitive manual process. In construction, particularly tiling is a strenuous and labour-intensive process undertaken by a shrinking pool of skilled workers. Although no complex joinery is involved, it is challenging to automate as it imposes sub-mm tolerances rarely found elsewhere on site and involves a precisely dosed, cement-based bonding material.

This technology provides a solution to overcome these challenges and implemented a novel robotic solution to automate tiling work on construction sites. The goal is a robotic co-worker that relieves tilers of the most repetitive tasks. The compact mobile robot autonomously navigates the work site, applies thinset adhesive and places tiles on the surface, even in confined spaces. It offers increased productivity, consistent quality and detailed data available for quality assurance (QA) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) exchange. Completing a real tiling job on a live construction site has validated the solution.

The technology can be licensed and consulting for assisting in its application is available. For the on-site robotic tiling use case, co-development of a market-ready system can be explored. For companies operating prefabrication plants for building elements, solutions to automate finishing tasks such as tiling, plastering or waterproofing can be developed. Large-scale repetitive assembly processes in manufacturing may also be automated using the developed technologies.

TECHNOLOGY FEATURES & SPECIFICATIONS

The technology provides several features, including

  • Patented precision application and shaping system for cementitious materials
  • Patented, high-accuracy workpiece sensing and control system
  • Model-based adaptive assembly planning
  • Precise installation of elements over large extensions without external reference system
  • Building up a model of as-built structure
  • Custom mobile base and end-effector designs

POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS

  • On-site tile installation on floors and walls
  • Tiling of panels and volumetric units in prefabrication (e.g. PPVC, PBU)
  • Automated finishing of 3D printed walls (e.g. with plaster)
  • Solar panel installation

Benefits

Tiling use case:

  • Productivity increase and labour cost savings of up to 60%
  • Reduces number and density of workers on site
  • Mitigates shortage of skilled tilers and diminishing labour pool
  • Relief from most repetitive work, enhancing job profile
  • Consistent quality, meeting highest standards
  • Data for QA and BIM, enabling Digital Twin
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