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CUBE aims to enable lower cost, more efficient, more precise, faster, and safer construction processes through innovative robotic technologies. Our first contribution to the construction industry is the development of a robot for façade hammer tapping inspection of aged buildings. With patented technologies, our robotic system can stabilize itself for accurate contact-based inspection while minimizing inspection blindspots, resulting in significantly reduced operation time and costs compared with conventional approaches. Safety of workers and the public can be further enhanced by circumventing the needs of working at heights and ensuring higher inspection quality. Data retrieved can also be useful for big data analysis, enabling predictive maintenance and smarter urban planning.
Our robotic system are designed to be easy to deploy, safe to operate, capable of inspecting large and uneven façade surfaces, and able to perform a wide range of both non-contact and physical contact inspection tasks. Compared to manual operation, the robotic system can achieve a higher resolution and reach more inaccessible and dangerous areas, minimizing blind spots and human errors.
Our robotic system, which consists of a carrier platform for locomotion and an end effector for inspection operations, can perform physical contact-based façade inspections. The carrier platform is located on the roof of the facade, which guides and drives the cables connected to the end effector. The cables can then drive the robotic platform to any desired position of the facade for inspection. The end effector consists of inspection tools and marking tools to evaluate the concrete status and mark the area at high risk of debonding, indicating the defects. Apart from the direct marking, by analyzing the condition of the facade, a concrete status map can be generated to guide follow-up actions.