Human Robot Collaboration

Guest Editor: 
Dagmar Reinhardt & Glenda Caldwell

Volume 6, issue 3-4, December 2022

Summary and scope

Human-robot interactions (HRI) can offer alternatives and new pathways for construction industries, industrial growth and skilled labour, particularly in the context of industry 4.0. As robot applications move from highly structured factory environments with isolated workspaces to human-robot collaborative and coexistent work zones, robots are increasingly equipped with sensors and systems that increase their interactive and responsive capacities, allowing for safer implementation in diverse use cases, and a wider range of program and task applications. These human robot collaborations extend from sophisticated protocols for co-work with six-axis industrial arms, or remote control thereof, towards collaborations with mobile or onsite robots and robot systems.

The potential of collaborative robots (CoBots) will have a significant impact on the future of the construction industry.  Recent studies investigate acceptance of CoBots by subject matter experts; survey industry requirements and frameworks for adaptation; and provide preliminary assessments of CoBot acceptance. Researchers and industry analyse and reconsider processes and sequences of work protocols for standard architecture robots; and explore interfaces, toolkits and user oriented design. Motion capture and tracking systems for a collaborative framework between human and robot co-workers and augmented robot simulation will help define new ways for task organization and action frameworks between human and machine. CoBots and human-robot approaches will increasingly act as labour support and collaborative resources for construction processes that require precision, adaptability and variability, but also offer new paradigms for movement, materials, fabrications, tasks and actions. 

Special issue on human robot collaboration

Towards human–robot collaboration in construction: current cobot trends and forecasts

Beyond googly eyes: stakeholder perceptions of robots in construction

Robotic drawing communication protocol: a framework for building a semantic drawn language for robotic fabrication

Computer Vision and Human–Robot Collaboration Supported Design-to-Robotic-Assembly

A vision-based sensing framework for adaptive robotic tooling of indefinite surfaces

Tie a knot: human–robot cooperative workflow for assembling wooden structures using rope joints

Design considerations for robotically assembled through-tenon timber joints

Cable Robotic 3D-printing: additive manufacturing on the construction site

A modified common midpoint approach for GPR radars

Modeling & Simulation

Guest Editor: 
Christian Schlette & Mahesh Daas

Volume 4, issue 3-4, December 2020

Summary and scope

As the robotics community continues to grow, we see an increased use of automation in diverse fields, from academics to creatives and from architects to engineers and contractors. The applications being developed have likewise grown in ambition and complexity. The underlying control methods have evolved from linear flows of information to more circular ecosystems of data driven re-informed designs. Linear, feed forward robot operations are powerful in their ability to connect design (e.g. CAD and BIM data) and simulation models (e.g. of the robots and the fabrication processes) to the generation of tool paths and fabrication information. However, this workflow is challenged by the complexity of construction site situations regarding the dynamics in space and time.

In this context it is important that robot operations can gather data from their surroundings or actions and that our ideal assumptions are re-informed by this information. This data driven approach to connecting design models and simulations with sensor data allows for re-planning and controlling of robot operations based on the ideal design data and updated information from the fabrication process and the environment.


Robotic vault: a cooperative robotic assembly method for brick vault construction

Autonomous dry stone

Craft to site

Augmented bricklaying

Interactive design to fabrication, immersive visualization and automation in construction

Robotic timber assembly

Towards digital automation flexibility in large-scale timber construction: integrative robotic prefabrication and co-design of the BUGA Wood Pavilion

Spatial winding: cooperative heterogeneous multi-robot system for fibrous structures

Skeletal composites: robotic fabrication processes for lightweight multi-nodal structural components

Adaptive kinematic textile architecture

The smart robot crafting approach to computing materials

The digitization of the automated steel construction through the application of microcontrollers and MQTT

Crafting plaster through continuous mobile robotic fabrication on-site

From Craft to Construction

Guest Editor: 
Andrew John Wit

Volume 4, issue 1-2, June 2020

This issue of the Journal on Construction Robotics examines the ways in which experimental research impacts the construction site. By examining the connection (and gaps) between experimental research and industrial-scale construction, this issue examines the current and future role of robotics in the AEC industry.

This issue seeks articles which detail the transfer of technology from academic/experimental research to architecture, engineering and construction. To advance the field of Construction Robotics, we seek to share projects where experiments are maturing into on site methods. We are seeking critical inquiries which examine the space between current experimental investigations and the path to construction level application, highlighting a way forward. This can include an analysis of technology needing further development before industrial implementation occurs.

This topic issue expands the community of construction robotics past the traditional divide between research and practice. We are seeking technical design/engineering research articles which document and demonstrate that the lessons learned from digital craftsmanship have the power to impact the construction industry in real ways. From partnerships between industry and academia to architectural/engineering practices engaged in robotic development, this issue of the Journal on Construction Robotics has a special focus on how the creative robotics research community brings new levels of innovation into the industries of architecture, engineering and construction.


Physically distributed multi-robot coordination and collaboration in construction

Highly accessible platform technologies for vision-guided, closed-loop robotic assembly of unitized enclosure systems

Additive manufacturing by means of parametric robot programming

Towards robotic steel construction through adaptive incremental point welding

Piling and pressing: towards a method of 3D printing reinforced concrete columns

Robotic processing of crooked sawlogs for use in architectural construction

Precise imprecision: flexible construction with robotics

Rock print Pavilion: robotically fabricating architecture from rock and string

Architectural Robotics

Guest Editor: 
J. Willmann

Volume 4, issue 1-2, June 2020

Robotic systems are distinguished by their versatility. Like computers, they are suitable for a wide variety of tasks because they are “generic” and therefore not tailored to any particular application. As such, the “manual dexterity” of robots can be freely designed and programmed, and their manipulation skills can be customised to suit a specific intention. It is precisely this versatility that distinguishes robotic systems from other specialised machinery, unlocking new avenues of construction, and, at the same time, involving architects, civil and process engineers, and roboticists to collaborate and dissolving traditional disciplinary boundaries. In order to exploit this potential, not only a technical grasp of robotics, and, with that, an in-depth understanding of computation, materials and construction is required, but also supplementary pathways and platforms to exchange and to open new scientific frontiers.

This special issue facilitates this understanding by encouraging novel methods and applications in robotics, architecture and civil engineering. It ventures to take a look forward and gathers exceptional, rigorous approaches from the rapidly growing Robots in Architecture community. Specifically, it discusses a range of constructive topics that include, for example, novel material processes for robotic fabrication, including thermally tuned concrete panel printing, digitally controlled concrete injection processes, and the robotic manipulation of filament material in space. This is complemented by contributions that explore haptic programming techniques, and automatic sequence and motion planning methods. Moreover, the special issue also addresses the transfer of robotics to larger scales of construction.


Haptic programming in construction

Automated sequence and motion planning for robotic spatial extrusion of 3D trusses

Digital fabrication with natural composites

Robotic concrete surface finishing: a moldless approach to creating thermally tuned surface geometry for architectural building components using Profile-3D-Printing

FIBERBOTS: an autonomous swarm-based robotic system for digital fabrication of fiber-based composites

Robotic abrasive wire cutting of polymerized styrene formwork systems for cost-effective realization of topology-optimized concrete structures