Mobile Manufacturing of Large Structures

David Bourne, Howie Choset, Humphrey Hu, George A. Kantor, Christopher Niessl, Zack Rubinstein, Reid Simmons and Stephen Smith
Conference Paper, Proceedings 2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May, 2015

View Publication

Copyright notice: This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. These works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.


Assembly of large structures requires large fixtures, often referred to as monuments. Their cost and massive size limit flexibility and scalability of the manufacturing process. Numerous small mobile robots can replace these large structures and, therefore, replicate the efficiency of the assembly line with far more flexibility. An assembly line made up of mobile manipulators can easily and rapidly be reconfigured to support scalability and a varied product mix, while allowing for near optimal resource assignment. The challenge to using small robots in place of monuments is making their joint behavior precise enough to accomplish the task and efficient enough to execute subtasks in a reasonable period of time. In this paper, we describe a set of techniques that we combine to achieve the necessary precision and overall efficiency to build a large structure. We describe and demonstrate these techniques in the context of a testbed we implemented for assembling a wing ladder.

author = {David Bourne and Howie Choset and Humphrey Hu and George A. Kantor and Christopher Niessl and Zack Rubinstein and Reid Simmons and Stephen Smith},
title = {Mobile Manufacturing of Large Structures},
booktitle = {Proceedings 2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation},
year = {2015},
month = {May},
} 2017-09-13T10:38:41-04:00