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Automated tracking of prefabricated components for a real-time evaluator to optimize and automate installation

by Nolan W Hayes, Bryan P Maldonado Puente, Diana E Hun, Peter L Wang
Publication Type
Conference Paper
Book Title
Proceedings of the 40th International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction
Publication Date
Page Numbers
192 to 199
Publisher Location
Conference Name
40th International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction (ISARC)
Conference Location
Chennai, India
Conference Sponsor
International Association for Automation and Robotics in Construction
Conference Date

Trade associations for prefabricated construction estimate that about 50% of prefabricated wall projects have alignment problems that lead to defects and rework. Additionally, component installation times average between 30 and 60 minutes per component. To address these issues, a real-time evaluator (RTE) system was introduced to decrease cost and automate prefabricated component installation by reducing the installation time, decreasing rework, and enhancing energy performance through higher installation quality. The RTE uses commonly available hardware and software to perform autonomous tracking to measure the real-time location and orientation of components as they are crane-lifted and installed. The hardware, software, and algorithms that allow the autonomous tracking of components are detailed. An algorithm to automate the initial search for a component with three attached retroreflectors is proposed. Algorithms to automate the measurement of component position and orientation are also proposed. Simple lab-scale proof-of-concept experiments were conducted to assess the algorithms for automation of component searching, measurement of real-time movement, and measurement of component orientation. With additional development, the system can be used as a tool to generate the commands for autonomous crane operation or single-task construction robots.