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A Significant Step towards Construction Site Automation: A Construction Robot and Its Benefits.

The digitalisation and automation trend does not stop at the construction industry. Therefore, it is extremely important to break new ground and drive innovations in various areas. That is why RSRG has an R&D department, which addresses and solves the diverse problems of construction sites.


Eine dieser Innovationen beschäftigt sich mit dem aktuell kaum automatisierten Prozess der Herstellung von Bohrlöchern in Infrastrukturbauwerken wie bspw. Tunnel. Je nach Projekt kommen schnell mehrere 100 000 Bohrungen zusammen – ein immenses Potenzial an Einsparmöglichkeiten. Durch die klassische Arbeitsmethode mit der Handbohrmaschine ist der Prozess sehr personal- und zeitintensiv und verteilt sich meist über viele verschiedene Arbeitsstellen. Der Gesamtprozess vom Einmessen der Bohrlöcher über das Anzeichnen, das eigentliche Bohren sowie die Qualitätskontrolle und Dokumentation ist aktuell kaum automatisiert und es gibt nur wenige Hilfsmittel wie bspw. Bohrschablonen, die jedoch sehr unflexibel einsetzbar sind. 


One of these innovations deals with a process which has experienced almost no automation - drilling holes in major infrastructural projects, including tunnels. Depending on the project, several hundreds of thousands of drillings quickly accumulate, exposing massive potential for cost savings. The traditional method with a hand-held drill is very labour and time intensive, often distributed over many different workplaces. The entire process from surveying the drill holes, marking them, the actual drilling, as well as quality control and documentation is currently barely automated. There exist only a few aids, for example, drilling templates, which are very inflexible in their use. The solution is a crawler-mobile robot that can combine and automate sub-processes of measuring, marking, drilling, cleaning, and documenting. To develop this robot for the market, RSRG has entered a strategic partnership with the young Viennese company "Baubot GmbH". This mobile robot system will solve many of these problems in the future and generate enormous added value. It is currently demonstrating its capabilities on the Koralmtunnel project. For this infrastructure project of the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB), approximately 66 kilometers of handrail are also being installed in the two tunnel tubes. This ensures safe passage for passengers in an emergency and contains emergency lighting, including signage.


Characteristics that distinguish an automated drilling process inlcude:

  • The consistent accuracy is greatly increased by the tachometer-controlled robot system, which can be used flexibly around the clock. 
  • Automatic documentation of all deployment parameters such as drilling depth, drilling pattern, substrate conditions, and extraction parameters ensures complete traceability and thus seamless quality documentation. 
  • The complete drilling parameters are defined in advance using a 3D scan of the tunnel, and blockage and downtime are used efficiently. The simulation and control software allows the entire workflow to be tested in advance. Various areas where drilling is not allowed can be detected and taken into account. However, it is also possible to directly influence the various parameters on the construction site. 
  • By increasing the degree of automation and reducing the workforce, many interfaces that lead to errors are eliminated. This reduces the costs for individual drilling operations.


With the implementation of this system, which will subsequently be adapted for other tasks, RSRG is taking a major step towards construction site automation. In addition to increasing quality and better utilisation of the available construction time, this system counteracts the increasingly severe problem of skilled worker shortages.

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