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Sustainability & Robotics

Guest Editor: 
Dr. Deena El-Mahdy, The British University in Egypt (BUE), Egypt  

Submission Status: Open   

Submission Deadline: 15 February 2024

Summary and Scope

Construction robots are increasingly being integrated into both academia and industrial fields as an empowering component of creating sustainable solutions. This can be seen in new robotic approaches to sustainable construction, novel forms of automation in vernacular architecture, and innovative methods of material fabrication. These robotic approaches to sustainable solutions offer a new focus on construction which can resist climate change, optimize waste reduction, reduce energy consumption or carbon emission, improve passive thermal performance or allow for greater material recycling/reuse.  Construction robots can be integrated into solutions which address the changing climate and challenges of material impact. Robots can work in extreme conditions which push the limits of human labor, and can be used to build more high performance architectural geometry with sustainable approaches to materiality. These benefits can be seen in sustainable approaches to automation of high accuracy tasks such as; 3D printing for thermal performance, novel material creation and customization, upcycling of architectural components, new forms of assembly, analysis and adaptivity with the goals of saving time, materials, cost and waste reduction. While the complexity of this technology requires significant time and research in order to be used in widely in construction, there are many projects pushing this approach forward.

This Special Issue welcomes submissions of research articles that explore the intersection of sustainability and robotics in research and construction.

The Special Issue seeks to promote automated approaches to increasing efficiency, using new materials in high performance ways, building for solar radiation reduction, passive cooling, and adaptive architecture. With the growing importance of addressing the impact of Architecture Engineering and Construction, we aim to celebrate and promote new approaches to innovation and automation in sustainability.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • 3D printing/assembly using sustainable materials
  • Optimization/digital fabrication for material reduction
  • Innovations in material for sustainable automation
  • Automation of material reuse/recycling/deconstruction
  • Façade construction for improved thermal performance
  • Passive cooling integration with robotics
  • On-site and off-site automated fabrication
  • Path planning of robotic for sustainability
  • Robotics in sustainable education
  • Robotics in vernacular architecture
  • Traditional craftsmanship and robotics
  • Timber and different cutting techniques
  • Automated life cycle assessment
  • Efficient material deposition
  • Lean robotic construction
  • Carbon reduction/Environmental efficiency
  • Any research where robots improve environmental impact

Robotics & AI

Guest Editor: 
Dr. Madeline Gannon, Florida International University, USA

Submission Status: Open

Submission Deadline: 15 February 2024

Summary and Scope

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is having a cultural moment this year: the abstract ideas and algorithms of these complex systems have left the lab to touch our lives in new, mind expanding ways.

Generative AI – and in particular generative image-making and large language models – have humbled and inspired us to rethink how architects and designers can contribute to the field of Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC).

Yet despite this cultural zeitgeist, machine learning and artificial intelligence are nothing new in robotics. In fact, these techniques are the cornerstone of how robots have navigated, reasoned, and manipulated the world around them for decades.

This Special Issue invites submissions of research articles that explore the impact of AI on the holistic process of construction. Although  “AI” can be a catch-all term, there are a multitude of segments in AEC where smart, adaptive systems can help us better transform intangible ideas to physical realities.

In particular, we seek to promote a broad spectrum of research that innovates across AEC segments: from construction workforce education, to enhanced worker safety, novel human-machine interfaces, construction-aware design tools, material management systems, mobile on-site construction robots, autonomous site surveying, or predictive life cycle analysis tools. We see the immense possibilities of AI to help us do more with less, and encourage submissions that are demonstrably pulling us towards this future.

This call is directed towards, but not limited to, the following:

  • Generative Design-to-Construction Workflows
  • Robotic Apprenticeship
  • Augmented Construction Tools
  • Gestural and Natural Language Interfaces for Robotic Construction
  • Human-Robot Interaction and Collaboration
  • Heterogeneous Robotic Systems for Construction
  • Autonomous Site Surveying
  • Educational Tools for Construction
  • Task Planning for Robotic Construction
  • Novel Construction Robots
  • Robotics & Large Language Models (LLMs)

Robotic Solutions for Digitally Enabled Production Processes in Construction

Guest Editor: 
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Linner, OTH Regensburg

Dr.  Borja García de Soto,  New York University Abu Dhabi

Dr. Deena El-Mahdy, The British University in Egypt (BUE), Egypt  

Prof. Vicente A. Gonzalez, University of Alberta, Canada

Submission Status: Open   

Submission Deadline: 15 March 2024

Summary and Scope

The research field of construction robotics broadens increasingly in terms of complexity, approaches, technologies used, active stakeholders, and application areas. Worldwide labour and resource shortages, the need to increase circularity and resource efficiency, new materials, and the increasing utilisation of digital construction tools in the planning and construction industry massively spur the uptake of robotic solutions for on-site construction.

Researchers, scientists, and experts are invited to contribute their original research, reviews, and insights to this Special Issue covering a wide range of topics including but not limited to:

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Timber construction assembly and robotics 
  • Earthen materials deposition and robotics
  • Vernacular architecture between traditional and robotics
  • Hyber – Human-machine collaboration
  • Path-planning of robotics 
  • Mobile-robot 
  • Lean robotics construction
  • VR and AR for assembly and disassembly
  • Robotics in heritage sites/location 
  • Traditional craftsmanship and robotics
  • Remote inspection ( construction projects and existing infrastructure)

Adaptive Robotics

Guest Editor: 
Dr. İremnur Tokaç Çelikyay, RWTH-Aachen University, Germany

Submission Status: Open   

Submission Deadline:  15 March 2024

Summary and Scope

As robotics continue to advance, the roles of automation transcends the traditional task of only following predetermined paths and making decisions is becoming increasingly prominent. Adaptive robotics, has emerged as a field that focuses on enabling robots to respond dynamically to changing environments and tasks. As the demand for versatile and autonomous robotic systems grows across various domains of architecture, engineering, and construction, there is an urgent need to explore the latest advancements, challenges, and innovations in adaptive robotics.

We are excited to announce a special issue of the Journal of Construction Robotics dedicated to the theme of “Adaptive Robotics”. This special issue seeks to showcase cutting-edge research at the intersection of robotics and dynamic adaptation including systems that integrate sensors, environmental or process information, process control algorithms or feedback loops which are designed to emulate the intelligence of human-like decision-making in our ability to adjust our actions as we take in new information.

We invite researchers, scientists, and experts to contribute their original research, reviews, and insights to this special issue covering a wide range of topics including but not limited to:

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Adaptive control algorithms 
  • Adaptive digital fabrication and manufacturing processes 
  • Adaptive systems for construction robotics and machinery 
  • Human-robot interaction 
  • Multi-robot systems 
  • Machine reasoning algorithms in adaptive robotic systems
  • Robots in creative tasks 
  • Craftsmanship and robotics 
  • On-site and off-site adaptive fabrication  
  • Robots in architecture and design 
  • Material-informed digital and robotic fabrication 
  • Dynamic robotic path planning.