Artificial Intelligence and Robots for the Realization of Smart Buildings is a full day workshop to be held on November 8, 2019 from 9:30 to 18:30 at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) in Macau, China.
This workshop is organized by Prof. Hannah Stuart, with assistance from Mr. Jackson Hung of the Song Shan Lake Xbot Park Hong Kong Office. The first portion will focus on a group of invited speakers. The second portion will provide a first-hand look at construction operations in the Macau-Hong Kong area.
List of topics addressed:
- Smart cities
- Flexible manufacturing
- Vision and perception
- Mechanisms and design
The construction industry in Hong Kong and the mainland China face similar and serious challenges: low productivity, rising labor cost, declining labor supplies and sustainability issues. The sector consumes 40% to 50% of all raw industry materials and produces more than half of all solid waste. Additional problems include serious shortage of land supplies and an aging workforce. Construction costs, at roughly 4000 USD per square meter for high-rise residential buildings, is one of the highest in the world, next only to London. Yet these issues are quickly becoming global.
Sustainable and effective construction is becoming an urgent problem, especially with mounting demands for affordable housing and green building solutions. Today, building materials such as bricks, timber, cement, sand, steel and construction aggregate, etc. are transported to the construction site, and then buildings are raised using manual work and machinery of limited or no intelligence. Efficient construction and building maintenance through prefabrication methods, automation/optimization of design, on-site robotic activities, and building sensorization could have tremendous impacts on the future of construction and healthy, global living.
The motivation of this workshop is to coalesce a groups of experts in robotics, artificial intelligence, construction and civil engineering in order to generate new ideas and urgency in this exciting application area. One topic of interest is the role of robots in different stages of construction, e.g., flexible manipulation and prefabrication of structures in factory settings, onsite construction management, downstream maintenance and support of smart buildings. Close collaboration and operation alongside human workers must also be considered. Artificial intelligence and smart system tools will be discussed as a way of planning and designing new buildings and communities. Close collaboration and communication with industrial partners is essential when considering real-world application implications. It is believed that on-site construction automation can make far-reaching changes in whole building life cycle via integrating robotic, data analysis and automation technologies. In order to resolve the aforementioned difficulties within the construction industry, we need to develop and implement a series of technologies, thorough seamless integration of AI, robotics and IOT technologies.
This workshop targets communities across a large cross-section of robotics and AI that work in parallel tracks: design, sensing, control, planning, perception, fabrication, technology adoption and industry. Therefore, we intend to attract a diverse audience (in terms of technical background) with the common interest in automated construction. The workshop will include speakers from engineering and computer science as well as practitioners and partners in industry in order to facilitate conversation around fusion of (these fields during real-world application. The proposed workshop has a strong focus on real-world application, therefore it is at the natural intersection between academia and industry.
The addressed topic is substantially multidisciplinary. We will use this platform to initiate a discussion that will provide a 360° perspective on real-world automation application. The first half of the event will be invited speakers, leaders in their fields, to present recent work and their vision for the future of automation in construction. The speakers are asked to direct their comments and insights to the theme of the workshop. This will provide the audience a broad idea of the current state of the art. Ideally themes will emerge from these talks that speak to the biggest challenges across the different fields today.
The second half of the day will consist of industry tours in the Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area to initiate discussion among academics and industry leaders, with coordination from Mr. Jackson Hung. Construction Industry Council (CIC), a Hong Kong governmental organization overseeing construction industry, and Hip Hing, a private leading construction contractor company in Hong Kong, have agreed to arrange a tour to a
construction site and CIC’s Construction Innovation and Technology Application Center for our delegation. Hip Hing and CIC will send their technical and management representatives to meet with our group to introduce their insights into construction industry in China and discuss potential collaboration between industry and academics.
9:00 Welcome, introduction to the topic
10:00 Prof. Yi Ma: University of California Berkeley, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science “Vision based 3D reconstruction for survey of construction sites and objects”
10:30 Prof. Zexiang Li, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Department of Electronics and Computer Science “Opportunities of Construction Automation and Prefabrication in China”
11:00 Coffee break
11:30 Prof. Hannah Stuart: University of California Berkeley, Department of Mechanical Engineering “Grasping and manipulation in highly unstructured real world settings — applications in civil projects”
12:00 Dr. Ricky Tsui: R&D Director in East Asia, Arup University Leader
“Robotic Application sin COnstruction Industry in Asia — Market Needs and Applications”
12:30 Mr. Jackson Hung: Project Manager, Song Shan Lake Xbot Park
13:00 Lunch + travel
15:00 Industry tours
18:30 Return to Macau