This paper will expand on the RoboticBridge Maintenance System (RBMS) developed by the Construction Automation and Robotics Laboratory (CARL) at North Carolina State University (NCSU). The system consists of a 4- dof robot, designed and built at NCSU, mounted on the end of a truck-mounted peeper crane. Additionally, a containment system is mounted in front of the robot to contain the toxic waste created by the removal of the lead-based paint from the bridge beams and trusses.
The majority of automated construction research and development has been bottom-up, from the construction/engineering side rather than top-down from the design end. Section 2of this paper looks at precedents in automated construction research and identifies an apparent gap in design related themes. Section 3is devoted to the introduction of a research programme which addressed topics related to the conceptual design of robotic systems for construction, and developing overall design principles for top-down architect/designer applications. The research included the derivation of simple shape grammars and a simulation research programme for understanding component connections and robotic manipulation, using a model robotic construction system remote controlled over the Internet. Section 4presents a report of the research carried out according to the programme, and introduces an example concept automated construction system designed according to the principles derived from the investigation outlined in Section 3.