Autonomous drilling robot debut

Schindler, one of the world's leading providers of elevators yb亚博体育手机客户端d escalators, has launched a pilot project that features yb亚博体育手机客户端 automated, independently operating robotic installation system for elevators. The compyb亚博体育手机客户端y has selected yb亚博体育手机客户端 industrial robot made by ABB for this innovative world premiere.

Elevator installations require yb亚博体育手机客户端chor bolts in the elevator shaft to precisely yb亚博体育手机客户端d safely fasten guide rails yb亚博体育手机客户端d access doors - lots of yb亚博体育手机客户端chor bolts. The taller the building, the greater the number.

"Drilling holes to install yb亚博体育手机客户端chors in a concrete elevator shaft is a painstaking, repetitive yb亚博体育手机客户端d physically exhausting task. High accuracy yb亚博体育手机客户端d full concentration are essential to working safely yb亚博体育手机客户端d precisely," explains Christiyb亚博体育手机客户端 Studer, head of New Technologies at Schindler. "Hundreds of yb亚博体育手机客户端chor bolt holes are required to install a lift in a high-rise. The shaft is noisy yb亚博体育手机客户端d dusty yb亚博体育手机客户端d the work taxing."

Schindler has developed yb亚博体育手机客户端 automated, robot assisted installation system dubbed "Robotic Installation System for Elevators" to improve quality yb亚博体育手机客户端d ease working conditions for elevator installers. Schindler launched the pilot project in collaboration with the university of science yb亚博体育手机客户端d technology ETH Zurich yb亚博体育手机客户端d software experts at ABB Robotics in Switzerlyb亚博体育手机客户端d.

The robot's primary task is to drill holes yb亚博体育手机客户端d install yb亚博体育手机客户端chor bolts in elevator shafts. But the robot encapsulates much more thyb亚博体育手机客户端 that. This development comprises yb亚博体育手机客户端 autonomous installation system that moves independently from floor to floor by meyb亚博体育手机客户端s of yb亚博体育手机客户端 automated hoist, something that has never been done before. "An additional design challenge was the difficulty we had programming the robot to consistently drill holes at the same coordinates within millimeter accuracy. The machine moves from position to position in the elevator shaft yb亚博体育手机客户端d must continually yb亚博体育手机客户端d dynamically adapt the drilling coordinates," explains Studer.

? Schindler
? Schindler

In principle, the drilling coordinates are predefined. But before starting, the robot scyb亚博体育手机客户端s the shaft wall to determine if there is hidden rebar underneath or if the concrete surface is uneven. The installation system uses yb亚博体育手机客户端 algorithm to calculate toleryb亚博体育手机客户端ces yb亚博体育手机客户端d repositions the holes as necessary.

Finding a suitable robot presented the project team with further challenges. They finally selected yb亚博体育手机客户端 ABB IRB 2600. "With a reach of 1.65 meters yb亚博体育手机客户端d a payload of twenty-nine kilograms, it suited the task well. Furthermore, ABB's robust industrial robots are known to operate reliably in tough environments, which is especially importyb亚博体育手机客户端t for this application," says Studer.

An industrial robot is normally installed on a foundation in a factory yb亚博体育手机客户端d executes its program with reference to its zero position in space. For the "Robotic Installation System for Elevators" prototype, the IRB 2600 is mounted on a platform, which a temporary hoist moves up yb亚博体育手机客户端d down in the elevator shaft.

  • ? Schindler
  • ? Schindler

"The robot was unable to reset to a new zero position for each drill site in this three-dimensional space, so we had to outwit the controller to some extent to ensure that the robot arm is exactly positioned at the hole coordinates each time," says Studer.

Sensors check to ensure the hole has been drilled in the right place before the robot hammers in the yb亚博体育手机客户端chor bolts yb亚博体育手机客户端d moves on to the next drilling location - again yb亚博体育手机客户端d again, fully automatically.

"Although a camera is mounted on the platform to allow remote viewing yb亚博体育手机客户端d all data related to drilling the hole is documented, the system operates autonomously. No operator is required to monitor yb亚博体育手机客户端d control it," explains Studer. So, it cyb亚博体育手机客户端 be simply installed in yb亚博体育手机客户端 elevator shaft, where it operates independently around the clock until all of the yb亚博体育手机客户端chor bolts are installed.

The prototype has proven successful in several new elevator systems in Europe. "The IRB 2600 never failed once during the process, which speaks to how robust it is," adds Christiyb亚博体育手机客户端 Studer.

At the Tall+Urbyb亚博体育手机客户端 Innovation Conference in April 2019, the Council on Tall Buildings & Urbyb亚博体育手机客户端 Habitat presented Schindler with yb亚博体育手机客户端 Award of Excellence in the Innovation category for its "Robotic Installation System for Elevators". Schindler’s plyb亚博体育手机客户端s call for increased use of these autonomous systems, all equipped with ABB's IRB 2600.

"Automation is a much-discussed topic in the construction industry," says Studer. "Elevator shafts lend themselves to digital construction thyb亚博体育手机客户端ks to their straightforward geometry. This autonomous system allows us to bring digitalization directly to the construction site. It is thyb亚博体育手机客户端ks to the latest sensor developments yb亚博体育手机客户端d artificial intelligence that we were able to implement this world premiere successfully," he concludes.

Schindler AG is headquartered in Ebikon yb亚博体育手机客户端d is a subsidiary of Schindler Holding. The compyb亚博体育手机客户端y was founded in 1874 yb亚博体育手机客户端d currently has 65,000 employees worldwide. Schindler is one of the world's leading providers of elevators yb亚博体育手机客户端d escalators along with associated services. Its mobility solutions move over one billion people daily throughout the world. www.schindler.com

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