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  • Aerial additive manufacturing with multiple autonomous robots

Zhang, Ketao, Chermprayong, Pisak, Xiao, Feng, Tzoumanikas, Dimos, Dams, Barrie, Kay, Sebastian, Kocer, Basaran Bahadir, Burns, Alec, Lachlan, Orr, Choi, Christopher, Durgesh, Dattatray Darekar, Li, wenbin, Hirschmann, Steven, Soana, Valentina, Awang Ngah, Shamsiah, Sareh, Sina, Choubey, Ashutosh, Margheri, Laura, Pawar, M. Vijay, Ball, J. Richard, Williams, Chris, Shepherd, Paul, Leutenegger, Stefan, Stuart-Smith, Robert and Kovac, Mirko, 2022, Journal Article, Aerial additive manufacturing with multiple autonomous robots Nature, 609. pp. 709-718. ISSN 1476-4687

Abstract or Description:

Additive manufacturing methods using static and mobile robots are being developed for both on-site construction and off-site prefabrication. Here we introduce a method of additive manufacturing, referred to as aerial additive manufacturing (Aerial-AM), that utilizes a team of aerial robots inspired by natural builders such as wasps who use collective building methods. We present a scalable multi-robot three-dimensional (3D) printing and path-planning framework that enables robot tasks and population size to be adapted to variations in print geometry throughout a building mission. The multi-robot manufacturing framework allows for autonomous three-dimensional printing under human supervision, real-time assessment of printed geometry and robot behavioural adaptation. To validate autonomous Aerial-AM based on the framework, we develop BuilDrones for depositing materials during flight and ScanDrones for measuring the print quality, and integrate a generic real-time model-predictive-control scheme with the Aerial-AM robots. In addition, we integrate a dynamically self-aligning delta manipulator with the BuilDrone to further improve the manufacturing accuracy to five millimetres for printing geometry with precise trajectory requirements, and develop four cementitious–polymeric composite mixtures suitable for continuous material deposition. We demonstrate proof-of-concept prints including a cylinder 2.05 metres high consisting of 72 layers of a rapid-curing insulation foam material and a cylinder 0.18 metres high consisting of 28 layers of structural pseudoplastic cementitious material, a light-trail virtual print of a dome-like geometry, and multi-robot simulations. Aerial-AM allows manufacturing in-flight and offers future possibilities for building in unbounded, at-height or hard-to-access locations.

Official URL: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-022-04988-4...
Subjects: Other > Engineering > H100 General Engineering > H110 Integrated Engineering
Other > Technologies > J900 Others in Technology
School or Centre: School of Design
Funders: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Royal Society Wolfson Fellowship under grant number RSWFR1180003, EU H2020 AeroTwin project under grant number 810321 (M.K.), Royal Thai Government Scholarship (P.C.), University of Bath Research Scholarship (B.D.)
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-022-04988-4
Additional Information:

Freely available publisher version: https://rdcu.be/c0C6W

Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2022 14:31
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 12:52
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/5181
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