Simulation-Based Comparison of Novel Automated Construction Systems

As automated construction processes require large workspaces and high payloads, the use of cables is a reasonable approach to span wide distances and share loads. Therefore, a cable-driven parallel robot is a suitable choice for automated masonry construction. Another possible robotic system for this task consists of a set of cooperative drones, each connected to the end effector and the payload by a cable. Because of the similarities between the two robotic systems, the same object-oriented programmed software can be used for trajectory planning and subsequent investigations, making minor adjustments. The implemented optimizing path planning algorithm takes into account the physical boundaries, motion time, collision avoidance and energy requirements. Thus, a simulation-based comparison of the characteristics of both systems can be made. In this paper, the necessary physical models for both the drone system and the cable robot are derived in detail. Based on the common framework, this paper presents a comparison between the two robotic systems, defining two different scenarios. The first scenario demonstrates the functioning of the optimizer approach. The second scenario is used to compare the two systems. For this purpose, the trajectories for all 1720 masonry units of the first floor of a house are optimized. The analysis of the results shows that both systems can transport heavy loads, with the cable robot having advantages on smaller sites, while the drone system covers larger distances for the price of slower performance and higher energy consumption.


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