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New Prototype Robot Traverses and Manipulates 3-D Truss Structure

In future, robots will execute precision repairs on elevated towers and skyscrapers. With a new robot prototype, the Hod Lipson's Creative Machines Lab researchers predicted that the robots can independently navigate and maneuver a 3-D truss structure. In addition, they can also assemble and disassemble the structure by using specialized joints and gears.

Jeremy Blum '12 holds one version of a prototype robot that can autonomously climb, assemble and disassemble truss structures

The robot's design has been presented in a paper that has been acknowledged by IEEE Robotics and Automation. The project analyzes the new approach, wherein robots can be employed for automation of building processes in intricate environments. The project is a part of a National Science Foundation Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation.

In addition, robots can also be employed for space-exploration applications including spacewalk at the International Space Station, and repairing damaged truss.

Cornell's test robot was leveraged to execute several design specifications. The new robot generates bi-directional gearing system using 3-D printing, thereby enabling the robot to attach with the fragments of truss with free mobility within.

The pieces of truss include ridges and specialized locks that can be fabricated by robots. In future, robot-friendly building components will be optimized for extensive utility. The robot is incorporated with reflectivity sensors and an onboard power system to spot its location within the structure, besides being able to perform autonomous and precise operation.

The researchers anticipate constructing a robot-friendly environment based on the latest technologies. Reconstruction of devastated buildings and several other complex renovations can be performed with robots using specifically designed components.



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