Autodesk makes software for people who make things. If you've ever driven a high-performance car, admired a towering skyscraper, used a smartphone, or watched a great film, chances are you've experienced what millions of Autodesk customers are doing with our software. Autodesk gives you the power to make anything, but some segments of the general public are not yet aware of that.
The Autodesk Gallery at One Market in San Francisco celebrates design — the process of taking a great idea and turning it into a reality. With about 60 different exhibits regularly on display that showcase the innovative work of Autodesk customers, the gallery illustrates the role technology plays in great design and engineering. Autodesk Gallery Ambassadors conduct gallery tours as a sideline to their day jobs. The tours provide ambassadors with opportunities to practice public speaking in front of small groups by informing visitors about what our customers imagine, design, and make using our software.
Sometimes exhibits from the gallery go on the road and appear at special events, like pop-up galleries that we have hosted in Paris, London, Tokyo, and Toronto. In contrast, sometimes exhibits are created for special events and then make their way to the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco. For example, for this year's Autodesk University in Las Vegas, we debuted 16 new exhibits. Some of these may resurface in San Francisco.
The On-site construction robots exhibit was one such exhibit that was showcased at AU:
- Scaled Robotics // more
It can be difficult for on-site construction managers to compare a building under construction with the Building Information Model (BIM) to track progress and quality. This lack of control increases risk and leads to costly errors, delays, rework, and significant waste. To help bridge the gap between the digital and physical worlds and address these common industry inefficiencies, Scaled Robotics is building mobile robots and advanced artificial intelligence (AI) software to automate progress monitoring and modernize the construction process to be lean, efficient, and cost-effective.
Construction is a tough environment for a robot, with a unique set of opportunities and constraints compared to a traditional manufacturing setting. These considerations informed and shaped the design decisions.
"I don't think this company would have been possible maybe five years ago, in the way that it is now. You have a really big skill shortage. You have a labor shortage. You have companies operating on 2% or 3% margins. You have an industry that recognizes that it needs to change. There's no consensus about what the magic tool kit is, so you have a set of companies that are willing to listen to you in a way that they weren't five years ago."
— Stuart Maggs, CEO, Scaled Robotics
Using Inventor and Fusion 360, the team explored different design options and component optimizations. The internal wiring of the robot was optimized and integrated using Inventor. The structure for mounting the data-collecting sensors was then modeled to explore different design options, balancing multiple constraints. The team used these design studies to create a set of plastic prototypes, followed by a folded aluminum model, and ultimately a topologically optimized, fully integrated structure to mount the sensors and encapsulate the wiring.
Data collected from the robot's onboard sensors is uploaded to the cloud, where it is processed automatically, turning raw data into actionable information. That information is then displayed in a web-based viewer powered by Autodesk Forge so site managers can track progress and other critical variables from any location. Items for which there is no data appear in gray&nnbsp;(not encountered by the robot yet), missing are in red (not necessarily a problem, perhaps not scheduled yet), and out of tolerance are in orange (definite problem). This color-coding is reflected in the Revit model.
The autonomous mobile robot is capable of mapping the construction site 10 times faster than existing methods.
Thanks to the Autodesk Gallery team for the descriptive text for this blog post.
Autodesk has always been an automation company. Today, more than ever, that means helping our customers automate their design and make processes. We help them embrace the future of making, where they can do more (e.g., efficiency, performance, quality), with less (e.g., energy, raw materials, timeframes, waste of human potential), and realize the opportunity for better (e.g., innovation, user experience, return on investment). A robot that provides an accurate assessment of as-built conditions is definitely part of better.
The Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco is open to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. There is a guided tour on Wednesdays at 12:30 pm and a self-guided audio tour available anytime. Admission is free. Visit us.
Construction robots are alive in the lab.