ABB Robotics, AUAR Launch AI-Enabled Home-Building Microfactories

The partners are working to establish a global network of robot-powered facilities that automate the construction of sustainable housing

Scarlett Evans, Assistant Editor

April 4, 2024

2 Min Read
AUAR, ABB robotic modular assembly.
AUAR, ABB robotic modular assembly. ABB

ABB Robotics is collaborating with UK-based tech start-up Automated Architecture (AUAR) to create AI-enabled, robot-powered micro-factories to build low-cost, sustainable homes.

The companies will roll out robots in a global network of microfactories, automating the manufacture of energy-efficient housing from sheet timber. The process sees robots cut timber sheets into components, assembling them to create modular units which are then transported to the construction site.

The companies said that automating the construction process would enable companies to tackle skills shortages, as well as improve sustainability and health and safety at manufacturing sites.

“The increasing capabilities of robots enabled by vision and AI, coupled with their inherent speed, flexibility and consistency, makes them the ideal solution for meeting the growing need for affordable, high quality, sustainable housing,” said Craig McDonnell, ABB’s managing director. 

“With 95% of building firms in our recent market survey describing sustainability as ‘important’ or ‘very important’ to their businesses, and 38% seeing robots as a way of reducing waste, our collaboration with AUAR opens new possibilities for homebuilders to deliver affordable sustainable homes at scale.”  

Related:AI-Enabled Robot Learns to Respond to Human Facial Expressions

ABB’s robots are currently used to automate modular assembly projects worldwide and in academic projects researching new ways to integrate robotic automation into construction. 

News of the collaboration follows ABB’s partnership with Porsche Consulting to develop new automation processes for modular housing manufacturing.

McDonnell said the collaborations with AUAR and Porsche mark an “exciting step” in ABB’s goal of accelerating the construction industry’s uptake of robotic automation.

“With the focus on the dual needs of building more affordable homes and minimizing the environmental footprint of buildings throughout their lifetime, automated modular construction presents a great opportunity to rethink the way that the buildings are constructed,” he said.

This article was first published in AI Business's sister title IOT World Today.

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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